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April 22nd

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Registration and Internet Café

Conference Center Lobby


9:00 - 10:00 AM
3 Concurrent Sessions


Analysis of READ Scale Data: Comparing Open-Ended Description Blocks With a Categorized Menu

Kim Olson-Kopp, Viterbo University

Gretel Stock-Kupperman, Viterbo University


In October 2010, the Todd Wehr Memorial Library at Viterbo University implemented the READ Scale (Reference Effort Assessment Data), a six-point tool for recording the complexity of reference transactions. Changing to this scale added a new dimension to our statistics, offering opportunities for analyzing desk staffing and quantifying the level of expertise needed to answer questions.

Unlike many libraries who use the READ Scale for short-term analysis, reference librarians used it faithfully for many years. However, there was one continuing area of frustration: the open-ended description of what took place during the reference transaction.  "Crunching" data from 3,000-4,000 descriptions became an overwhelming task. After much discussion and drafting, librarians moved to a pull-down menu of the most common, descriptive types of transactions in addition to the READ scale complexity levels.

With this streamlining of our READ Scale, librarians are investigating the impact of losing individualized descriptions of transactions. Librarians will assess the previous four years of descriptions using MaxQDA quantitative analysis software and will compare those results to the data from the pre-categorized menu.  Participants who attend this session will learn about the impact of the READ scale on service assessment, and will engage in a discussion of the value of free text versus categorized data.

Ballroom East

Digitally Commemorating the Civil War

Kathryn Otto, UW-River Falls

Letters from soldiers, local newspaper articles, photographs, illustrations, plus lots of "value-added" features were used to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War in a blog. Once the "war is over" and all of all of "our boys" have returned home, the online resource will remain as a primary research tool for years to come for college students, K-12 students, Civil War historians, genealogists, and many more. Learn how it was done, what was learned along the way, and how it can be adapted for other purposes.

Manitowoc Room

The Role of Libraries in the Evolution of Open Courses

Stef Morrill, WiLS
Shauna Borger, UW-Parkside
Joshua Morrill, UW-Madison

The apex of the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) hype cycle has passed. It's clear that this model of teaching and learning isn't going to replace formal education or have the disruptive impact that was predicted. However, this passing of the hype gives us an opportunity to explore how MOOCs can be used to meet the need for continuing education, career development, and personal enrichment. In early 2014, UW-Madison offered and evaluated a series of MOOCs to consider these questions.

One of the courses, "Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region" was deemed a "TOOC" (Targeted Open Online Course) by its instructors, as it was specifically intended to target Wisconsin citizens and to provide a unique learning experience to different areas of the state. The instructors used public libraries to host tailored discussion sessions and to create partnerships within the community to promote and bolster the course.

This session will tell the story of this TOOC. Stef Morrill from WiLS will explain the background of the project and involvement of public libraries; Shauna Borger from UW-Parkside will talk about their experience of partnering with the Kenosha Public Library; and Joshua Morrill from UW-Madison Academic Technology will share preliminary results from the evaluation of the project.

10:00 - 10:30 AM


10:30 - 11:45 AM
Keynote Program with Nicole Pagowsky

Transforming our image through a compass of critical librarianship

Ballroom East

Librarians have been lamenting our stereotypes for over 100 years, but has anything changed? Critical librarianship--the process of incorporating social justice through theory and practice into professional philosophies and day-to-day work--pushes us past a simple dismissal of stereotypes, and toward a consideration of what implications these tropes have on our diversity, status, pay, and ability to collaboratively carry out our work with faculty as partners. This keynote address will examine how implementing critical librarianship through our library instructional pedagogy, scholarship, and other ongoing work can add greater value to the profession, and help transform the perception of librarians to campus, as well as our own perception of ourselves.

12:00 - 1:00 PM
Luncheon Program with Rick Dodgson,WAAL Conference Scholarship Award presentation, and WAAL Information Literacy Award presentation

It's All a Kind of Magic: The Young Ken Kesey


Ken Kesey (1935-2001) is one of the most interesting characters in United States history. His first books--One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962) and Sometimes a Great Notion (1964)--established his reputation as a star in American literature. He also became an important historical figure in the California "hippie" scene of the sixties—as chronicled by Tom Wolfe in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968)—causing Kesey to be remembered as the "Father of the Counterculture."

And yet, despite his celebrated achievements, little was known about Kesey's early life until the publication of Rick Dodgson's It's All a Kind of Magic: The Young Ken Kesey (2013). As a graduate student, Dodgson traveled to meet and interview Kesey, who granted him access to his private papers and journals. In a multimedia presentation, Dodgson will describe his encounters with Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, chronicle Kesey's early life, and re-examine Kesey's place in the history of the 1960s.

1:15 - 2:15 PM
3 Concurrent Sessions


Embedded Librarian in an Online Nursing Course
Janet A. Levey, PhDc, RN-BC, CNE, Concordia University
Karen L. Nowak, MLIS, Concordia University

The purpose of the pilot study was to assess the usefulness and student satisfaction with an embedded librarian in an accelerated online RN-to-BSN course at a faith-based institution. The specific aim was to examine the psychometrics of the Levey-Nowak Embedded Librarian Presence Scale. Use of an embedded librarian is relatively new in nursing education and there is need for an instrument to measure this experience for further course enhancement. The role of an embedded librarian is to assist and actively engage students with library resources. The embedded librarian benefits students by assisting them with the utilization of relevant and scholarly materials from journals and other electronic resources. Collaboration with a nursing faculty member was a critical factor for the adoption of an embedded librarian within a nursing course. Using the Models of Embedded Librarianship (Shumaker & Talley, 2009), the Levey-Nowak Embedded Online Librarian Presence Scale (12-item, 5-point Likert) was created and launched in fall 2014. Face and content validity were determined prior to the study by librarians located in Wisconsin academic institutions. Data will be collected by means of an online survey using the Levey-Nowak Embedded Librarian Presence Scale and analyzed with the appropriate statistical methods. The study is currently collecting data and will be disseminated at the 2015 Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians (WAAL) conference. The results of this innovative and collaborative study have the potential to provide a measurement for students' use and satisfaction with an embedded librarian in online nursing courses.

Ballroom East

Digital Public Library of America

Emily Pfotenhauer, WiLS
Amy Rudersdorf, Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America is a national digital library of cultural heritage content from across the U.S., fed into the library by Hubs throughout the nation. Representatives from organizations across Wisconsin have begun working towards creating such a Hub in the state. This collaborative work intends to boost the representation of Wisconsin's unique collections in DPLA and provide outreach to Wisconsin's cultural heritage institutions. This panel will share information about DPLA and Wisconsin's next steps for participation.

Manitowoc Room

Stretching Our Budgets and Expanding Our Services: Small Academic Libraries Unite!

Vince Mussehl, Chippewa Valley Technical College
Kelly Kroes, WISPALS Library Consortium

Smaller academic libraries, including two-year colleges, community colleges, and technical colleges, are often faced with bigger problems. Budget shortfalls, declining enrollments, limited staff, limited resources, and less space are all common problems among smaller academic libraries. Communicating your library's needs and mission to administration – often to people without a library background – can also be a great challenge. Let's come together and talk about potential collaboration opportunities, possible ways to save on databases and other resources, and what you consider  "best practices" to make your library not only survive, but also thrive! Bring your ideas and some creative practices to share with your fellow academic librarians!

2:30 - 3:45 PM   
Lightning Talks
- new program!

Ballroom East

For topics shorter than a full presentation or poster, new this year is the Lightning Talks program. Each presenter will have 5 minutes to speak on their topic. Powerpoint slides will be gathered ahead of time and presented as one continuous presentation, with an emcee coordinating the talks and delegating time.

Read talk descriptions here.

3:45 - 4:00 PM

4:00 - 5:00 PM  
3 Concurrent Sessions


Mentors & Mentees: Perspectives on the Research Relationship

Teri Holford-Talpe, UW-La Crosse
McNair Student Panel, UW-La Crosse

Working relationships that go beyond their natural structural hierarchy can turn out to be helpful to the evolving nature of living and breathing exchanges. This panel, made up of McNair Scholar advanced undergraduate research students from UW-La Crosse, will discuss the mentor-mentee relationships as they relate to their academic research needs. Survey results from their faculty mentors will also be shared, in order to give voice to both perspectives of the mentor-mentee team


Teri Holford-Talpe, Academic Engagement Librarian at UW-La Crosse, and McNair Scholar faculty mentor and library liaison, will speak to her mentor-mentee research relationship and outreach. The conversation will address the research value of the mentor-mentee relationship and how intentional outreach to faculty mentors may be an overlooked piece in the mission of advancing undergraduate research skills for graduate level work.

Ballroom East

Predatory Journals in Library Databases: How Much Should We Worry?

Nerissa Nelson, UW-Stevens Point
Jennifer Huffman, UW-Stevens Point

The growth of predatory journals gives rise to concern regarding the quality of scholarly literature available to students in academic libraries across the U.S. Little is known about the extent to which predatory journals have managed to infiltrate online library databases. The presenters report on their recent quantitative study which uses Jeffrey Beall's criteria for determining predatory open-access publishers and which focuses on three commonly used multi-disciplinary vendor article database packages, Ebsco's Academic Search Complete, Proquest's Central File, and Gale's Academic File, and one open-access journal directory, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The presentation concludes with an open discussion of what the findings mean for libraries and students.

Manitowoc Room

Surviving Your First Year on the Job

Brooke Williams, UW- Madison
Miguel Ruiz, UW-Madison
Carlos Duarte, UW-Madison
Heather Shimon, UW-Madison

You're hired! Now what? From getting to know new coworkers, to deciphering institutional language, to balancing new work and life commitments, taking on your first professional position can be as stressful as it is stimulating. This panel of early-career academic librarians will discuss the challenges they faced during their first year on the job, and the things they wish they'd known when they started.

In the current economic climate, there exists a good deal of dialogue about how to find and secure a professional position; discussion of the anxieties and struggles facing newly hired professionals is lacking in comparison. Our panelists hope to contribute valuable insight into the process of beginning a new job and getting comfortable within a new work environment, from the perspectives of academic librarians who have recently made the adjustment to professional life.

This conversation can be difficult to have in the workplace. While supervisors and coworkers are often encouraging, the longer they have been in their positions, the more likely they are to have forgotten how it felt to be new to the job or to the institution. The panel plans to provide a safe, nonjudgmental space in which new hires, recent graduates, students, and supervisors overseeing early-career librarians can collaboratively discuss the issues and challenges that frequently arise during the first year of a professional academic position. While our panelists will share their experiences, we invite attendees to ask questions and contribute their own accounts of life from their own first year on the job.


6:00 - 8:00 PM
New Members Round Table Happy Hour


Join the New Members Round Table for a Happy Hour in the Lounge. Meet new members of WLA and catch up with old friends.

8:00 PM -
Evening Activity

Cocktail Party (No Registration Required)


Conferences aren't just about great presentations and demonstrations; a conference is also about meeting your colleagues, sharing experiences, creating opportunities for collaboration, all the while making new friends in the process. Get the most out of your week by joining the 2015 WAAL Conference Committee for a good time. You will not have a better chance to make a connection, share ideas and make new conversations happen.