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April 20th

Registration 8:00 AM - 5:00 pm

Grand Libelle Foyer


Keynote 9:00 AM-10:15 AM

Grand Libelle BC

PeterChase BristolPress2

Peter Chase - Libraries and the Patriot Act - The Connecticut Four

If this presentation were given in 2005, the speaker would have been arrested on the spot. In 2005, Peter Chase was under a federal gag order preventing him from revealing that he was a plaintiff in the case that became known as the "Connecticut Four." Chase and three other colleagues refused to comply with a National Security Letter demanding library patron information. Chase was not allowed to attend his own trial and could not tell his family, friends, or library staff that he was involved in a case that made headlines for months. Chase will explain why he defied the government and the toll it took on his family and colleagues. He will talk about our need for privacy and the legal challenges faced by all libraries in protecting it.

10:15-10:45 AM

Morning Break

Outside Libelle Ballroom

 10:45 - 11:35 AM
4 Concurrent Sessions

Grand Libelle D

Beyond Neutrality: Scholarly Conversation, Student Research, and the Troublesome Notion of Bias

Anthony Sigismondi, UW-Manitowoc

Many undergraduates have great difficulty understanding the role of bias in research and information production.  In fact, most college students assume that locating credible information involves finding sources that are unbiased, neutral, and comprehensive.  Unfortunately, such assumptions can lead them to prioritize sources that are easily accessible and “authoritative” but only tangentially related to their topic, lack in-depth or novel perspectives, and avoid taking controversial positions on current topics.  More importantly, the unrealistic expectation that any single source can be "objective" and present all sides of a complex issue can pose a significant hindrance to their understanding of vital information literacy concepts, particularly the notion that scholarship is a form of conversation. To help instructional librarians address these challenges, this presentation highlights teaching strategies and assignment design principles that can help students develop a more sophisticated understanding of bias and critical approach to evaluating information in the Digital Age.

Grand Libelle E

Defining, Maintaining, and Improving Reference/Public Service with Reduced Staff

Ian Benton, UW-Madison
Raina Bloom, UW-Madison

Imagine your library loses 22% of its staff and they all do reference, in addition to their other work areas. All of the assessment data you have are indicating that the reference desk and associated services are still needed ... but ... see sentence one.

In May of 2015, UW Madison's College Library prepared to lose two staff members. By January two turned to five, then six, then we sprinkled in some maternity and paternity leave for good measure (we only mention the leave so Ian has an excuse to show pictures of his son).

This is the story of how College Library weathered its losses with the help of a staffing plan centered on identifying, evaluating, and training on the competencies needed to provide reference and information services in our library. How and why did the activity help and how might it work for other libraries facing similar reductions in staffing? That's a good question - thanks for asking. Join us to talk more about it?

Grand Libelle F

Results from a Local Study on the Impact the Library has on Student Learning

William Doering, UW-La Crosse
Douglas Baumann, UW-La Crosse

What impact does your library have on student learning is such an important question to ask yourself.  It seems that in today's budget-conscious world, libraries are continually asked by the community, government, accreditation teams and higher education administrators what impact we have on student learning.  We count everything we can, we do LibQual surveys, engage in instruction assessments and yet there seems to be something missing.  The real question is really more than counts of turnstile gates, the number of students attending information literacy instruction sessions, opinion surveys, and collection size.  The ultimate question is: Did the student learn something?  Murphy Library undertook a study to assess the impact Murphy Library actually has on student learning.  We took statistics of who attended instruction classes, who checked out library materials and who placed resource sharing and ILL requests and whether having participated in these activities actually improved student grades as compared to students who did not take part in these activities.  But we did more, we went beyond the question of whether smart students use the library and studied the question of whether library use makes students smarter.  I will discuss the question, the gathering of statistics, the research process and the statistical modeling that went on to conduct this study.


Villa Gottfried A

Page Not Found: Creating a Troubleshooting Workflow for e-Resources

Rachel Becker, UW-Parkside

E-resources play a key role in today's libraries, providing access to journal articles, e-books, streaming video, and much more to users 24/7. But what do you do when a link doesn't work or a database gives you an error? Even the most dependable platforms experience problems occasionally and having a solid plan in place is crucial for maintaining a reliable online library. This presentation will give you tips on how to design an e-resources troubleshooting workflow for your library and how different departments can work together for a smooth process. Topics include: reporting and identifying problems, working with other library departments, contacting agents and vendors, documentation, resolution, and follow up. With a little planning ahead of time you can create a troubleshooting workflow that will get your e-resources up and running smoothly in no time!

11:45 AM-12:35 PM 

4 Concurrent Sessions

Grand Libelle D

Get Them Talking: Engaging Students in Authentic Discussion in the Library Instruction Session

Jill Markgraf, UW-Eau Claire

Now that we've gone and flipped the classroom, librarians are able to spend their valuable face-to-face time with students engaging in higher-order learning through exploration, inquiry, and discussion.  Doing so effectively requires that librarians hone skills in leading meaningful discussions, letting student inquiry drive the session, promoting peer learning and being comfortable without a script. While much has been written on flipped classrooms, active learning, and leading effective classroom discussions, much of the literature assumes a semester-long class or other extended period of time.  Librarians seldom have that luxury, often meeting and working with students in a single hour-long session.

This session will focus on strategies to make the most of limited face-to-face time with students.  It will include strategies for quickly building rapport and trust with students,  and for engaging students in authentic discussions that encourage reflection and analysis rather than search for a predetermined answer. And it will introduce confidence-building exercises that enable the teaching librarian to give up the script, move from center stage and let instruction sessions become learner centered and learner driven. Practicing what it preaches, this session will have attendees actively participating in scenarios and exercises in an encouraging and supportive environment, finding confidence and joy in what may be a new way of teaching.


Grand Libelle E

Providing Computer Help Before They Ask (Or Even Start Classes)

Kim LaPlante, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

To encourage student success and persistence, the Library at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College partnered with their Student Services area to help new students become comfortable with computers before their classes even started.  This presentation will discuss what we learned regarding new student intake surveys, best practices for contacting students before they take classes (and shortly after), common computer fears, and building relationships with new students.

Grand Libelle F

Collaborations in Communications:  the Library as Client for PR/Advertising Students

Kati Golden, UW-Eau Claire
Maureen Schriner UW-Eau Claire
Danielle Hill, UW-Eau Claire

In 2015-2016 McIntyre Library at UW-Eau Claire underwent in-depth strategic planning and assessment and through this process identified that it lacks a broad structure for library communications efforts.  A library Communications Task Force was created with a charge to compile a comprehensive list of stakeholders and audiences for the library, to conduct a detailed communications inventory (internally, on campus and externally, digitally), and to develop a Communications Plan which will guide us in increasing the prominence of the library in a consistent and unified manner, creating a culture of sustained communication, and developing a communications disposition among library staff.  However, just as we created the Task Force we were approached by a faculty member in Communications & Journalism about an opportunity to serve as the "client" for capstone PR/Advertising majors.  The timing couldn't have been more perfect, and we worked with the faculty member to structure the entirety of the fall 2016 course around the library's communications needs.  Throughout the semester the students in CJ479 developed a communications plan, encompassing primary and secondary research and created proposals for strategies and tactics.  They also produced communication materials based on the plans they developed.    This presentation will be led by library staff and the instructor of the CJ course.  We will include background about the library's communications/marketing needs and concerns; background on the course design; and information on the collaboration process, including what worked, what didn't, and share what some of the student groups planned for the library.

Villa Gottfried A

Practices of Effective Weeding Teams and Their Role in the Circular Economy

Tom Reich, UW-Stevens Point
Yan Liao,  UW-Stevens Point
Anne Swenson,  UW-Stevens Point
Melissa Bailey,  UW-Stevens Point
Susan Mory,  UW-Stevens Point

All academic libraries are undergoing changes in collections and services, with an emphasis on reorganization, assessment, and competition for space. In 2012, for the first time in decades, the UWSP Albertson Library started a weeding and collection assessment of our STACKS print holdings (and Government Publications). Join representatives from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Library, as we outline specific steps to streamline the collection assessment process, decrease weeding fatigue, and approach barriers such as "surplus only" policies to employ reuse/recycle option that has a more positive impact on society, the environment, and global literacy. The session will include a brief overview of workflow efficiencies, the progress we’ve made, and our partnership with Better World Books ( and our nonprofit literacy program, the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas, Inc. ( We hope to offer an engaging panel presentation and wider discussion session with the audience regarding what others are doing in terms weeding strategies, discard programs at various campuses, and gift policies – all of which have mutual implications.

12:45 PM-1:45 PM

Luncheon Awards Program & Networking Event, WAAL Conference Scholarship & Information Literacy Award Presentation

Grand Libelle BC

1:45 PM-2:45 PM

Business Meetings 

Grand Libelle BC

All are welcome, attend the business meeting to find out what your WAAL leaders have been up to this year and what is in the works for next year.

2:30 - 3:20 PM

4 Concurrent Sessions

Grand Libelle D

The Un-Research Project: Turning the Research Process Upside Down- 2017 WAAL Information Literacy Award Recipient 

Kim Olson-Kopp, Viterbo University
Annie Baumann, Viterbo University
Vickie Holtz-Wodzak, Viterbo University

Librarian Allison Hosier's ʺun-researchʺ approach to information seeking and writing challenges a common practice where student writers incorporate sources in the most nominal ways. Hosier flipped the research and writing processes after recognizing ʺsatisficing,ʺ where students use minimal resources in most minimal ways in order to satisfy an assignment's criteria.* This Un-Research Project asks students to choose topics and, without conducting any research, draft essays full of guesses and half-truths. It's only at that point where they locate ideas needing revision, support, and clarification, in essence turning the research process upside down.

During Fall 2016, co-investigators of our case study at Viterbo University – Vickie Holtz-Wodzak (English faculty) and Annie Baumann and Kim Olson-Kopp (librarians) – redesigned their approach for teaching both writing and information literacy skills in English 105: Accelerated Composition. By turning the writing and research processes upside down, we wanted to explore whether or not it would break the mold of a ʺpatch-workedʺ research paper and encourage students to learn through investigation.

We modified Hosier's intervention to fit traditional information literacy sessions. After drafting and peer-workshopping un-researched essays, students in the course met with librarians twice. Librarians designed lesson plans informed by ACRL's Framework, in particular ʺResearch as Inquiryʺ and ʺSearching as Strategic Explorationʺ threshold concepts. At this point, students compiled annotated bibliographies, returned to their drafts, and revised their papers. Along with reviewing student final assignments, we assessed the effectiveness of this intervention using information literacy questionnaires, worksheets, and reflective essays.

This case study takes a hard look at a prevalent problem in student essays – where research is utilized to reaffirm pre-existing ideas – and creates a process where research is incorporated at opportune times, allowing the process to inform, inspire, or enlighten.

*Hosier, A. (2015). Teaching information literacy through ʺun-researchʺ. Communications In Information Literacy, 9(2).


Grand Libelle E

Searching Nursing Literature: Revisiting Discovery Services vs. Specialized Databases

Michael Strahan, Northern Michigan University
Mary Boulanger, UW-Milwaukee [Emerita]

Institutions worldwide provide discovery services Summon and Primo. Despite recent enhancements, searching effectiveness of nursing literature in these systems remains challenging. Complications include importing select but not all subject headings from other databases, and institutional staff systems support. Presenters compare results of the same searches in these two products, with results from nursing-specific databases CINAHL and PubMed/Medline. Attend this session to see how recent updates in the discovery products have impacted search results.

Grand Libelle F

Presenting Your Best Self: Interview Tips from People who Know

Meghan Dowell, Beloit College
Anjali Bhasin, UW-Madison

You nailed the phone interview and now have been invited to campus for a job talk. While you're simultaneously excited and freaking out, don't worry. This panel of hiring managers and newly employed librarians will share their experiences, give practical advice, and answer questions in a low pressure atmosphere. Congratulations on the interview! Now let's get to work!

Villa Gottfried A

Mergers and Acquisitions: Using ILLiad for Acquisitions

Mitchell Scott, UW-Milwaukee
Beth Kucera, UW-Milwaukee

Victoria Peters, UW-Milwaukee

UW-Milwaukee's acquisition staff now uses ILLiad (the ILL software) to manage several daily workflows associated with purchasing materials for the collection. This presentation will discuss the process and customizations that took place to transform ILLiad into an Acquisitions module that allows acquisition staff to manage purchases requests suggested by UWM students, faculty and staff and to make purchases for a revamped ILL purchasing program. We'll discuss how the purchase recommendations were (re)directed into ILLiad, how ILLiad was customized to handle the purchase recommendation process, how ILLiad's features streamlined many aspects of this process, and what this transition has meant in terms of providing rich data on who is requesting materials for purchase and what they are requesting. Finally, with acquisitions staff in ILLiad daily, they are now responsible for the purchasing component of a recently revamped ILL purchasing program. The program and its purchase criteria will be discussed as well as the ILLiad customizations and workflows that allow acquisitions staff to easily manage these requests.


 3:30 PM-5:00 PM

Poster Session

 Grand Libelle Foyer and Villa Foyer

10:45 AM-3:30 PM

Wisconsin Archivists: Teaching with Primary Sources Workshop

Palm Garden Ballroom D

This is a special workshop that requires you sign-up during your Conference Registration. Please see



5:30 PM-7:30 PM

Dine Around 

Local Restaurants

See our Special Events page for more details. 

8:00 PM - 10:00 PM Trivia Event

Palm Garden Ballroom EF

See our Special Events page for more details.