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Conference Report: ASEE Engineering Libraries Division - Chicago June 2006 - by Susan Salo

.: With her permission, I am happy to present Susan Salo's report from the ASEE Conference in Chicago in June 2006. Susan is a CISTI Information Specialist and is Head of the NRC Information Centre in London ON, and is a member of the Engineering Libraries Division of ASEE.

Conference Report : American Society for Engineering Education, Engineering Librarians Division, Chicago, June 18 – 21, 2006
Susan Salo, NIS, NIC London

ASEE Main Plenary, Advancing Education: Launching a Year of Dialogue
Not unique to the librarians division, this panel session was set up to launch a dialogue on key issues and concerns in American engineering scholarship and education.
Key points of interest (not political):
Promotion of K-12 engineering is and should be occurring
ASEE is sponsoring its 5th Global Colloquium for Engineering
Teachers are getting out into industry and virtually having coop terms; the faculty are learning to be engineers

Get Acquainted Session
I found myself deep in a discussion on library assessment. Some things that came up:
(University of New Mexico) During a particular assessment project they had great support from the University management, the Regent(s) showed up, other very important people provided support and funds during the planning phase. However, during the assessment phase, they only had 4 people volunteer to participate.
(Colorado School of Mines) Same complaints on a regular basis over the years: printers, weak collection, hours.
(Penn State) They tried giving questionnaires to every fifth person who logged in. They were successful with a one-minute questionnaire given to people as they were leaving the library.
(Missouri-Rolla) Bring in a consultant.
(MIT) 1.5 hour student interviews
(Texas A&M) They did usability studies. Problem: Pre-tested on grads, then found out undergrads did things very differently

Taking Back What is Ours
Charles Steele, Professor Emeritus, Stanford: Experience with an alternate engineering general
Was the editor of the International Journal of Solids and Structures, a Pergamon title, then an Elsevier title, with a price tag of $7,000. He decided to go on a search for a new publisher.
Elsevier pricing is generally twice as high as other major publishers and when Elsevier takes over a title from another publisher the average price increase is 26%.
He talked to Highwire Press, SPARC, Sage, World Scientific, Duke, Cambridge University Press and finally, Mathematical Sciences Press.
Result: Journal of Mechanics of Materials and Structures, $500/year
High quality, no page charge to author, color pages encouraged, free universal back access, support for additional, optional, non-print material, downloadable pdf files with full links, license to publish model, low subscription price
Rob Kirby, mathscipub.org
Publisher is a non-profit California organization run by journal editors and a math librarian. Publish at 15 cents per page hard copy, 10 cents per page electronic. In comparison, IEEE publishes at 80 cents per page
It was noted by Mel DeSart (U. Washington) that only one-quarter, to one-third of scientists know the price of their favourite journal. An IEEE rep noted their prices were about a third of Elsevier’s, with notable exceptions of course where the difference was greater.
It was noted of course, that when typesetting disappeared, there was no decrease in price.

Engineering Librarianship 101: Mastering the Craft
Bob Schwarzwalder
Anita Colby
Deborah Kegel

Key Points
As a mentee: Don’t go where you don’t want to go; don’t believe for a minute that this place can’t be all that different (It is!); Have the confidence not to be put off.
As a mentor: One of the most important things you can do is help with introductions – who can help, who to avoid, facilitate e-mentoring (best list-serves, good threads, where to post, etiquette)
Keep up with new tricks – skyping, blogging, text abbreviations, RSS
Libraries stagnate when they accept current practice, don’t innovate, don’t spend time with users, don’t take risk; libraries succeed when they question the status quo, connect with users, integrate instruction, act as a centre of innovation
Real needs, Low cost, Scaleable Programs
Develop a scaleable pilot as a “demonstrable”
Leverage these programs to get funding using the pilot as proof of concept, to win key constituencies
If necessary be willing to abandon control of the effort to some other authority
How do we get our clients to use materials that aren’t on the web? Desktop delivery
(There was a lot of talk about who was paying for it, and such. No talk of copyright. That’s OK for the articles since it was UC San Diego, but they were talking about desktop delivery of theses as well. I didn’t think of this at the time or I would have asked.)

Staying Relevant to Our Users: How New Technologies are Redefining the Role of the (Engineering) Librarian
Darcy Duke: Moderator
MIT libraries received a letter from the MIT graduate students with 10 demands
Is this what we’ve come to? And yes, they were taken seriously.

GIS in the Realm of Engineering and Science Librarianship Anne Graham, Civil and Environmental Eng Librarian, MIT As GIS Liaison librarian, she was given 5 hours a week to explore GIS needs. There were 8 departments using the software. Year one, she worked with experts to learn the software. Year two, she prepared and taught 2 classes using the specialized software. The library now houses the GIS lab. It takes many people to make the model run as such. Equipment is still purchased by the techie group. The software is complex and non-intuitive. Eight different workshops are provided.

A Systems Approach to Designing a Customized Information Delivery System
Amy Van Epps, Purdue University
University librarians are relevant to their faculty through teaching about library resources as guest lecturers, having content integrated into student assignments or teaching collaboratively. We can assist in guiding the researchers search, and perform mining/analysis of the literature. But what about being part of the research team, customizing information interfaces, librarians as co-PI’s.
At Purdue, librarians became involved with two interdisciplinary projects: a Health Information System and a Distributed Institutional Repository.
A goal is being “in the users’ space”. For researchers this means different technologies and different levels of needs. For librarian it is using technology to be relevant to users in their space.

Librarian 2.0 Using New Technologies
Michael Stephens, St. Joseph Public Library, South Bend Indiana
• Using Social Sites on the Internet - the web as a platform for harnessing and collecting intelligence.
• Commonalities of 2.0 Tools – Open, participatory, tags, comments, RSS Feeds, Access and API, Memes and Discussion
• Weblogs – organized chronologically, can be updated regularly, can provide to an RSS feed, create a “What’ New” blog for programs or materials
• Podcasts – Enhances library web presence with multimedia, can be time-consuming to create
• RSS – Create content in one place and display it by subscription (free) in another
• Chat
• Wiki’s
• Flickr (Image Sharing) http://www.flickr.com
• Millenials are nomadic and format agnostic

Assessment of Information Literacy/Fluency
Linda Musser , moderator
There were three speakers on this topic, but they kept relating everything to ABET (The US Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). Any points of interest follow:
Definition A: Information Literacy: the fusion or integration of library literacy, computer literacy, media literacy, technological literacy, critical thinking, ethics and communication skills.
Definition B: Information Literacy encompasses knowledge of one’s information concern’s and needs, and the ability to identify, locate, evaluate, organize and effectively create, use and communicate information to address issues or problems at hand: it is a prerequisite for participating effectively in the Information Society, and is part of the basic human right of life long learning. US National Commission on Library and Information Science, 2003
The term Information Fluency may be preferred as it reflect the process of acquiring a proficiency by degrees, as part of an ongoing process, where “fluency” is relative to the context in which performance occurs
Effective research assignments
• Originate from subject matter
• Show the purpose and benefit of the research
• Emphasizes analysis over answers
• Assists with planning of research
• Is progressive with opportunity for feedback at stages
• Discusses the process itself
• Project/portfolio assessment at various stages
• Interviews
• Observation and monitoring
• Surveys

Forum on Collaborative Information Literacy Programs
Angie Locklear, moderator

The Literate Engineer: Infusing Information Literacy Throughout the Engineering Curriculum

Lisa G. Bullard and Honor N. Ekridge, North Carolina State University
Freshman students get training and exercises on the library web site (catalog, key databases, citation searching)
Chemical engineering students in their sophomore year select a chemical and provide basic physical properties, industrial applications, toxicity data, environmental hazards, manufacturers, demand/sales and unit pricing.
Senior year for their capstone design project they create a research map based on: scope of project, books, journals, internet resources, engineering standards, patents,
Unfortunately, this program is too new to evaluate its effectiveness.

Integrating Information Literacy Concepts into an Upper Level Biomedical Engineering Design Course
Christine Drew, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Provided library instruction labs within the biomedical design course. Very hands-on.
Goals were to find background info and choose keywords, understand info venues and
Resource types, search USPTO, identify and search key databases, understand how to obtain full-text and learn that reference librarians can assist them.
Seventeen (of 50) agreed or strongly agreed that the library help their project. Twenty-four felt the course improved their research skills.
(There were two more speakers but along the same line.) However one had a few interesting participant comments:
• Only used google prior to training and never did Boolean searches. I knew it existed but I always assumed that eventually I’d find what I wanted
• Learning to use specific searches and creating advances searches has helped me write class papers. I wish I’d taken this class sooner.
• I had no idea databases like EI Compendex existed
• Course has improved my catalogue searching too

Poster: Integrating Outreach, Collaboration, and Information Literacy
Eric Resmis, (now formerly of) Miami University Libraries
The Brill Science Library at Miami University wanted a unique way to promote and provide an orientation to their library. They chose to use the theme started by the University Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies: The Silk Road. It was a campus wide initiative, so in fact, it provided external support and funding. There was required attendance for first year engineering students at the event.
• Form an event working group/committee
• Create clear goals/objectives
• Obtain funding (in the University case, look for grants from University Centres)
• Pick a date (suggest later in the semester/quarter than other orientations)
• Create a session plan
o Denote layout of event
o Include information literacy learning objectives
o Provides learning objectives for attendees
o Defines process until event day
• Partnerships
o Faculty for students to attend
o Departments to provide materials, displays
o Other universities entities (greenhouses for plants)
o Funding source (extra publicity)
• Devise methods to bring attendees in
o Extra credit, food, Prizes
• Publicize
o Create a blog/wiki, campus newspapers, calendar, website, posters, advertisements
• Assessments
o What was learned?
o Did we reach our goals?

Another interesting poster (Here is the abstract. Unfortunately, I can’t read the tables or much else from the PowerPoint copy, and of course, its all statistics which I didn’t write down)
Eastern Michigan University
Google Scholar: How Useful is it In Finding Information in Engineering?

Google Scholar, Web of Science and Scopus were used to find engineering information.
The three databases were searched from 1/1/96 to 11/22/05 for results on the following topics: aerospace engineering, biomedical eng, chemical eng, civil eng, electrical eng, industrial eng, and mechanical eng. The first 50 record results were analyzed as to type of resource and date and showed that Google Scholar compares favourably with Scopus and Web of Science, but varies as to date coverage and type of resource listed.

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