Student Library Users: Deliver what they need-- the way they want it

Conference Program

PDFs of the program: screen resolution & print resolution.
Live-blogging of the conference can be viewed from at
Presentations in the Krutch Theater were recorded and are available below in streaming RealMedia audio. You may need to install the free RealMedia Player to listen to these files.


The conference is scheduled for 9:30am-4:30pm.

Introduction: Terry Huwe and Tom Leonard RealMedia streaming audio (6min:47sec)

Opening Keynote: Joan K. Lippincott, Coalition for Networked Information
"Reorienting Libraries for Todayís Students" (PDF of PowerPoint)
RealMedia streaming audio (35min:55sec)
Net Generation students are influencing higher education in many ways, and libraries are rethinking their facilities and services to accommodate their style. In actuality, students of all ages need information, technology, and media skills, and this has implications for the way that libraries present their content, offer their services, and configure their physical spaces. A major challenge for libraries is integrating what they offer into a broader universe, whether that is the institutionís instruction or research program or the massive collection of information available through the Internet. Presenting a more cohesive program to students, and integrating physical and virtual spaces and services require imagination and new ways of conducting business. This presentation will include many examples from existing programs and will also propose some strategies for change.

Closing Keynote: Sarah Houghton-Jan, San Josť Public Library
"Online Academic Library Services for Online Users" (PPT presentation)
Note: The following recording includes some stretches of silence, which occur during the middle section of Sarah Houghton-Janís presentation. After the silent period, Char Booth continues the presentation for a few minutes, and then Sarah Houghton-Jan resumes and concludes it.
RealMedia streaming audio (49min:35sec)
People everywhere are using more online services every year and new products appear every week. Library customers of all kinds expect information faster, better, and easier—and everywhere! The rise of integrated and pervasive computing devices, web service homogenization, and cross-over functionality has created an environment in which people can do nearly anything they want, and find any information they want, from any device, any time. Do we know what customers want from libraries now, and what they will want in the future? Do we know how we can provide the best information, in the best ways, to the most customers online? How can we capitalize on tools that customers already use on a daily basis? Learn how moving into a more responsive and up-to-date approach to web services is an achievable goal for any library.

Presentations (alphabetical by last name)

Mary Linn Bergstrom & Susan Shepherd, Science & Engineering Library, UC San Diego
"Undergraduates in a Science & Engineering Library"
Panel Discussion: RealMedia streaming audio (12min:23sec)
The UC San Diego Science & Engineering Library [S&E] serves the Jacobs School of Engineering [JSOE] and Division of Physical Sciences. Most visible in the S&E space are 5,623 undergraduate physical science and engineering majors.

We create a visually and intellectually-stimulating environment for undergraduates that creates connections with their peers by highlighting student-built projects: a steel bridge, a seismically-stable balsawood tower, a JunkYard Derby vehicle, AIAA competition aircraft, Robotics Lab robots, computer-generated photos, posters from IEEE Student Branch, Teams in Engineering Services, Chemistry Undergraduate Research Symposium. Other exhibits invite them to envision the work of scientists and engineers: JSOE Research Expo graduate posters, the Chameleon JumpSuit costume from a successful video-game venture run by UCSD alumni, and women faculty profiles. The NanoEngineering Faculty Lecture Series exposes undergrads to cutting-edge research.

Students engage in group or individual work in a fully wireless space with powered tables and carrels, group study rooms, a presentation practice room, and the S&E InfoCommons.

Undergrads value play, so S&E offers "SciPod"- chess, Rubik's cubes, Legos and Jenga. Students dip into the Browsing Collection, ham it up for the Einstein photo shoot, Einstein, and stop studying to enter the annual trivia contest.

Critical Questions

  • How can library spaces meet student needs for both individual and group work?
  • How do faculty and graduate student study and research patterns affect their use of library space?
  • What methods are most effective in assessing / evaluating the 'library as place'?

Char Booth, Teaching Library, UC Berkeley
"Informing Innovation with Local User Research"
Short and full PPT presentations.
Panel Discussion: RealMedia streaming audio (14min:17sec)
Breakout Session: RealMedia streaming audio (50min:17sec)
This presentation discusses the importance of gaining insight into local user cultures in order to inform effective service and technology development in academic libraries. Booth presents findings from her 2009 ACRL research report, Informing Innovation (PDF), which investigated the convergence of library, academic, and technology use cultures at Ohio University in 2008 using environmental scanning methodology. The OU study used homegrown user research to test the generational and demographic assumptions that tend to guide emerging library technology development. Booth shares practical research strategies, discusses the implementation of study findings at OU, and considers the feasibility of similar research within the University of California system.

Jennifer M. Collins, San Francisco Public Library
"WEB 2.0 High: Information Access for the Pre-College Crowd"
This presentation examines technology use by high school students and suggests how teen internet users might shape the libraries of the future. Along with a school librarian expert in Web 2.0, student social networkers will give insight on the kinds of social media tools they embrace and what directs their online choices. Attendees will have opportunities to find out directly from youth how the future of information access is taking shape in the pre-college community.

Ellie Goldstein Erickson & Alexandra Provence, Berkeley High School Library
"The Pipeline: Teens & Young Adult Librarians on current behaviors & wants" (PDF summary of presentation)
What information literacy skills do freshman university students already have when they hit the ground running their first year of college? Is there any uniformity in the knowledge students have when coming from different high schools within California, or from different states? Do they really know what they think they know about libraries and research? Will some students be at a disadvantage in terms of research skills they need to succeed in their classes? What do they need from their librarians? What delivery modes appeal to high school students—online, handouts, lectures, pathfinders?

Ellie and Alex kept these questions in mind as they interviewed students about their previous experiences both in school and public libraries, what they expect during their grade 9-12 years, and what they have learned as they approach graduation. Berkeley High School, the only public high school for the city of Berkeley, has one of the most diverse student populations in the state. Students come from both public and private school K-8 educations. They move on to every UC campus and many of the CSU campuses.

Alex and Ellie will share the video interviews and draw some conclusions based on their findings. Based on the interviews, they will also make suggestions about the best ways university public service librarians can serve the needs of their first year students.

Heather A. Horst, UC Irvine
"Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out: Genres of Participation in the New Media Ecology"
RealMedia streaming audio (20min:40sec)
In lieu of her PPT, Horst encourages interested individuals to read Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project (PDF) / by Ito, Horst, Bittanti, et al. (The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning, November 2008.)
How has the introduction of mobile phones, instant messaging, social network sites, and emergent forms of participation transformed the every day landscapes of learning among youth? How do young peopleís social and cultural participation shape their engagement, interest and expertise around new media? In this presentation, I outline a set of "genres of participation"—"hanging out," "messing around," and "geeking out"—that correspond to different practices of new media engagement we found to be widespread among American kids and teenagers. Based upon an ethnographic study of over 800 youth between 2005 and 2008, the terms "hanging out," "messing around," and "geeking out" describe three differing levels of investments in new media activities in a way that integrates an understanding of technical, social, and cultural patterns. Ranging from "hanging out" with friends on Facebook to tinkering, learning, or getting serious about particular modes or practices and more intensive use of new media that involves high levels of specialized knowledge attached to alternative models of status and credibility, these genres reflect the varying levels of media-related expertise, interest, and motivations. I conclude by reflecting upon how can we create spaces and environments that encourage the development of interest, expertise and curiosity in a way that complements and leverage existing norms of youth participation in the new media ecology.

David Radwin Gregg Thomson, Office of Student Research, UC Berkeley
"Profile of University of California Undergraduates"
RealMedia streaming audio (35min:57sec)
UCUES, the University of California Undergraduate Experience Survey, is an omnibus survey of the experience of undergraduate students enrolled at the nine University of California undergraduate campuses. Survey results are matched with institutional data from campus records to provide a detailed portrait of students' backgrounds, academic and co-curricular activities, goals and aspirations, experience with academic and administrative units, self-assessments of gains in academic and social skills, interactions with other students, engagement in community service and civic activities, perceived obstacles to academic success, and many other topics. This presentation will focus on relevant aspects of students' academic and co-curricular activities and discuss specific student behaviors, including how they use their time, what technologies they rely on, and how disciplinary differences are reflected in patterns of instruction and learning. In addition to a limited perspective on students' interactions with libraries, the presentation will help library better understand the contemporary overall undergraduate experience in UC.

Jeff Rosen & Thoreau Lovell, San Francisco State University
"Gaining a Foothold in Theirspace" (PDF of PowerPoint Presentation)
Panel Discussion: RealMedia streaming audio (11min:38sec)
Students increasingly want attractive, user-friendly, and interactive information tools that model those used in commercial and social networking websites. At San Francisco State we've strategically adopted several changes to the way we present and offer library services, designing services to be convenient and attractive to students.

User-centered, value added services are helping to make student interactions with the library easier and more approachable than in the past. LibGuides research guides allow us to create relevant guides with rich content that provide one-stop portals for research in each discipline. We've added book covers, and reviews to OPAC record via Syndetics Solutions making the online catalog more user-friendly. LibraryThing tag clouds now supplement LC subject headings allowing a more intuitive experience for students.

Providing services where, when, and how students want them places the library more fully into "theirspace." Laptop computer check-out service and access to computers and study spaces 24 hours, 7 days per week signals to students that we are looking at what they want and need. Providing reference service via IM and SMS and providing library information and services via mobile devices such as iPhones insures that the library is always there when students need us.

Critical Questions

  • What types of reference queries are appropriate for IM/SMS reference service?
  • What types of services or information should be provided via a library's mobile application?
  • What types of value-added information can be added to OPAC records to make them more useful?
  • What do students want from their academic library?

Robin Tracy Williams, Sun Microsystems
"In Command! - Kids and Teens Build and Manage Their Own Information Spaces and Learn to Manage Themselves in Those Spaces"
RealMedia streaming audio (22min:12sec)
For some years now, information professionals have been worried about the habits of young people who Google first as their preferred information source. The Internet, like a juggernaut has clogged digital space with email, spam and constant advertising, overwhelming even the best of us.

The answer from adults has been filters. Schools all over the nation regularly install barriers between those online and users with the hope that danger would be avoided. It is a faulty system that presumes that children and young adults are irresponsible. Empower rather than restrict them. Learn how ubiquitous technology can be used effectively to help them manage their information-packed lives.

We'll review the basic concepts behind personal information spaces and move beyond that to shared spaces, and the lessons we can apply to real life spaces based on those learned from online communities, the point of which is participation. Bring a laptop if you can and be prepared to participate to experience the power of collective work.

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Last updated 11/16/09. Page maintained by: Paul Atwood