What is your library doing for Finals Week?

Here at ASU, it’s that dreaded time of year: Finals Week! Students are pulling all-nighters and the sound of quiet sobbing is ever-present.

What’s your library doing to help your students through your school’s Finals Week?

Studying for final Exams
The Peer Transfer blog has tips for students preparing for final exams.

In Hayden Library, info desk staff put out the Finals Week candy bowls. Librarians put together a Finals Week Survival Kit Library Guide to help students find needed info, fast. We also remind students that board games are available at the info desk for some mid-week de-stressing with friends. Hayden is open 24/7 now through the end of Finals Week, too! And I do believe there are also snack tables set out in the Concourse to give students a little energy boost.

ASU put on their Finals Breakfast last week. Breakfast meaning between 9 and midnight, for those planning all-night study sessions!

What is your library doing to help students get through? Share in the comments below!

Notes from AzLA: 6 Essential Apps & Other Assorted Notes

Today I offer you a guest post from AzLA attendee Patricia Watkins, who is a Research Librarian and Information Resources Coordinator at Embry-Riddle in Prescott. She shared her notes from the presentations she attended.

From Patricia’s notes, I reproduce her notes on “6 Essential Apps” and have also attached her notes from the other presentations she attended (see bottom for link). I added links to the mentioned apps:


6 Essential Apps for a Connected Librarian

  • Key: Making sure the apps are a seamless operation, secure, and supported.
  • Evernote – replaces the note function on the iPad, flawlessly. Can organize into notebooks or tags, translates into Word  … Navigates to the notes … Synchs to the web
  • Chrome browser – Customizable, fast. Runs Java script, smoother than other browsers. .. Clean on a smartphone, accesses all bookmarks … Takes place of De.lic.ious  … Firefox now has bookmarks … Google Drive: now loads your docs to the cloud like Dropbox.
  • WordPress – Creates simple, flexible websites, search engine optimized  so Google finds them; expandable with plug-ins … Tumblr easier than WordPress … Looks good on a mobile device, cleaner for screen size and smaller phones …
  • Feedly – Replacement for Google Reader (RSS feed)  Easy to import feeds … Social integration, easy to share on FB or Twitter …
  • Spotify – Free or subscription music service like Pandora … Takes a look at music you own on a device and matches with theirs, and shares the music onto other devices … Facebook integration
  • Dropbox –  Hard drive in the cloud, get 3g in the cloud, easy to upload images, etc.
  • Tips: Have lots of copies in various locations, to keep stuff safe: copies in Google. Music backed up in Dropbox and Google cloud …  Always examine the privacy policies of your apps
  • Subscribe to Gizmodo for updated tech info and new apps … MCLC Tech Talk  technology interest group for librarians in Maricopa county.

I’d like to throw in my endorsement for Dropbox in particular – you can work on your files anywhere and it syncs automatically. I’m also a big fan of WordPress as a web platform and for Chrome as being an easy, customizable web browser.

Patricia’s notes also include:

  • Jamie LaRue’s Keynote Speech
  • Best Practices for Guide on the Side Tutorial Creation Software
  • Opening Minds to Open Access: Best Practices at ASU
  • A World of Pure Imagination: Running a Digital Library
  • eLectrify, eNgage, and eXcite with Online Collaboration
  • Sonoran Desert Tales – Children’s Author Panel
  • Sustainable Libraries

Download all of Patricia’s notes here: Patricia Watkins – Notes

Thanks again, Patricia!

Also, still waiting on word when AzLA presentation slides will be uploaded. Hoping soon! And I’ll let you all know.

Notes from AzLA: Jamie LaRue Keynote & Wrap-up

Today I offer you a guest post from AzLA attendee and ASU Librarian Linda Shackle. Thanks, Linda! She took notes on keynote speaker Jamie LaRue’s opening and closing speeches. From Linda’s notes:


Jamie LaRue

I really liked that our keynote speaker started us off on the morning of the first day and then stayed and helped us wrap up the conference on the second day.   That was a great idea (I don’t know if LaRue wanted to do that or if we asked him to do it – either way I thought it worked out great).

Another thing I liked about LaRue was that he not only gave us “theory” (the world is changing, libraries and librarians need to change, too) but actually gave us concrete examples of how his library has gone about changing staff activities/roles/responsibilities and the results of those changes.

What I copied from his keynote speech was:

  • For changes, expect more opposition to come from within than from without
  • Displays and exhibits can increase circulation
  • Librarians like to search; our clientele like to find (An oldie but a goodie that I like to keep reminding myself)
  • Find out the questions that your clientele will never tell you
  • Our greatest asset is our credibility (this was in relation to the reference work that one of their librarians had done for a community project)
  • Hates the term “embedded” – does that mean we’re still asleep?
  • Be community-centric; that’s where your power lies.
  • Be rockstar reference librarians and community leaders
  • For goals, ask what decisions  are you going to be making in the next 18-24 months
  • Recommended “Being Wrong: Adventures in the margin of error” by Kathyrn Schulz
    • ASU Libraries: http://library.lib.asu.edu/record=b6289263~S3
    • WorldCat: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/609651971/editions?editionsView=true
    • Eric Larson (author) told Jamie that half of Larson’s current sales are in the e-book format
      (Which matches EXACTLY my collection of Larson’s works;  I have “Devil in the White City” and “Issac’s Storm” in print and “Thunderstruck” and “The Garden of Beasts” on my Nook)
    • Once people get an e-book reader, that becomes their preferred format (In my case, so true!)
    • Two-thirds of what is being published today is not in our libraries
    • His favorite quote from a customer’s book review “A decent book, not really worth reading.”
    • LaRue’s Laws of Leadership:
      • Anything is possible
      • It’s a miracle anything works (so celebrate when anything goes right)
      • Fun can change behavior
      • And last but not least …
        “Are you going to Disneyland or Boise?  If it’s Boise, you’re on the wrong bus.”


In case you missed it, Jamie LaRue posted a follow-up blog post to his speeches, including further notes on his closing address. Furthermore, Library Journal picked up on Jamie’s thoughts from AzLA and elaborated upon them in an opinion piece. (Thank you to ASU Librarian Anali Perry for spotting this!)

I’m still waiting on hearing about where presenters’ slides from AzLA will be posted online, but I’ll definitely share that information as soon as I get it.

Do you have notes from the conference? Please share them!

AzLA Conference Wrap-Up – Call for Notes!

I had a great time last week at AzLA attending sessions, chatting with poster presenters, being a poster presenter, and networking with library professionals! If you had a great time, too, I would love to have you submit your thoughts/notes on what you found most useful!

Blakiston Notes
Attendee Rebecca Blakiston from U of A Tweeted a snap of her notes (@blakistonr)

I enjoyed Jamie LaRue’s speech kicking off the AzLA conference – and tweeted my favorite parts. (You can see AzLA-related Tweets here and here). He was kind enough to attend the entire conference and offer more thoughts on libraries’ place in the e-society at Friday afternoon’s wrap-up panel.

I learned LOTS at the many panels and poster presentations – and I was delighted to be able to put faces to names when I met library professionals I had previously only emailed!

I enjoyed meeting those of you that attended the CULD meeting, and want to help you get the most out of our AzLA division. Please share your thoughts/notes/random comments, and I’ll publish them for the benefit of all CULD members. I’ll also be wrapping up my own thoughts and publishing them here!

Don’t let great ideas get away – keep the conference momentum going!

Will we see you at Fort McDowell?

The AzLA Conference begins with Pre-Conferences TOMORROW, with the bulk of programming Thursday and Friday. Will we see you at Fort McDowell?

You can print out just the schedule of programs before you go. The full conference program contains descriptions of the individual sessions.

CULD will also have its yearly business meeting Thursday at 1:10 in Conf. 102-103. Please come and get involved in the division. We’d love to hear YOUR ideas!

I’ll also be presenting my first poster Thursday morning at 10 am. My poster is all about using Twitter to promote your unique collection. Come see my poster and support me! : )

Also, don’t forget that AzLA and SIRLS are putting on a reception Thursday 5 to 7 pm at the resort pool.

See you there!

Academic Library Trends and Statistics 2012

ACRL is now selling a three-volume set of Academic Library Trends and Statistics for 2012. A few sample stats are below!

2012 Academic Library Trends and Statistics

In 2012:

  • 7.3%: Increase in spending on collection materials from 2011
  • 64.8%: Percentage of collection materials budget spent on ongoing resources (incl. subscriptions)
  • 3.7%: Increase in library expenditures for salaries and wages from 2011
  • 76% of all academic libraries reported using social media
  • Top 3 social media platforms: Facebook, blogs, and Twitter

The top three reasons for using social media:

  • promotion of library services
  • marketing of events
  • community building.

Why do the other 24% NOT use social media? Some answers can be found in ACRL Instruction Section’s Tips & Trends September issue. It can be difficult for library staff to keep up with the technology, or they may feel uncomfortable interacting with students over social media.

Have you found any of these trends applicable to your library?

Project Information Literacy

In case you haven’t heard of Project Information Literacy, they are a nonprofit that partners with University of Washington’s information school devoted to studying research habits of early adults. They have lots of really fascinating information on how college students do their research.

Check out their many useful reports, available free.

I really enjoyed their report “Lessons Learned: How College Students Seek Information in the Digital Age,” so much that I created an infographic of its basic findings. Google actually ISN’T no. 1 for course-related research – course readings are. Students tend to seek information from course readings and their instructors before they approach librarians.

Check out my infographic here: How College Students Seek Information.