FSU Libraries Abroad: A Visit to Florence & London

Ponte Vecchio in Florence

Ponte Vecchio in Florence

In April 2018, Lindsey Wharton (Extended Campus and Distance Services Librarian) and Mike Meth (Associate Dean of Research and Learning Services) travelled to FSU’s international campuses in Florence and London. The goal of our visit was to familiarize ourselves with the the libraries and study centers there, meet the students and faculty, and strategize about library services and support for students and faculty studying abroad. The timing of our trip was fortuitous as it coincided with the conclusion of the spring semester and much of our experience was shaped by seeing students who had spent either their last semester or their whole first year abroad.

The FSU Florence study center is located on a quiet street within the city center, only about a ten minute walk from the duomo (photo below) or the ponte vecchio (photo above). Located within a renaissance palazzo, the building is everything you would expect from Florentine architecture, including vaulted ceilings decorated with historic frescos. The library and computer lab is hidden within a quiet courtyard, two doors over from the study center, and up a flight of stairs. Although not in the same building, the library is well used and also includes a faculty lounge. As we toured the library space with Amy (our iSchool intern in Florence), students were busy studying for finals with the same intensity we all expect in our main campuses libraries. Books line library walls from floor to ceiling, with individual and group study spaces dispersed throughout the four rooms. The Florence library intern works with the help of student workers to curate the book collection, assist students with textbooks on reserve and research questions. She also works with faculty to teach information literacy lessons and orient students to library services. During our visit, we heard numerous compliments about the work she was doing and how valued her contributions are.

FSU London is located on a beautiful street in Covent Garden, just a block away from the monumental British Museum. The study center is situated in a set of seven historic row houses, a remarkable fresco embellishing the ceiling of the main building. In the basement of the main building, sits the library which houses about 9,000 volumes. Students in the London study center have easy access to the library, as the student accommodations and classrooms are all accessible through maze-like hallways in the basement that connect the seven row houses. The London library is comparable in size and feel to a school library. The library has a front room where the staff and student workers sit in an open area, and where textbooks for short-term loan can be borrowed. The collection is in the larger room with shelves full of historic and modern titles and a large cabinet of DVDs. The London library is managed by the study center IT team, Lloyd and Dan, who focus on ordering materials, checking out the textbooks on reserve, and assisting patrons with a multitude of technology issues.

During our visit in both study centers, we spent time with the leadership of the centers, faculty and students. Throughout our conversations, we explored a wide range of topics, ranging from Aleph implementation to staffing and training. Since neither library has a full time librarian, we will continue working with the study centers to provide services from Tallahassee and to train the staff in both locations. While FSU students studying at our campuses abroad do not have access to our main campus libraries, we still want them to have a fulfilling library experience and provide them with the support and resources they need to succeed. From our 24/5 Ask A Librarian chat service to our citation management software, many of our services and resources are equally useful as whether you are studying in Strozier or in your Florence apartment.

For more information about the Florence Study Center, visit http://www.florence.fsu.edu/.
For more information about the London Study Center, visit https://international.fsu.edu/london/.

Here are some photos from our summer adventure.

Duomo in Florence

Duomo in Florence

Gelato in Florence

Gelato in Florence

Fresco in FSU London Study Center

Fresco in FSU London Study Center

Mike at British Library

Mike at British Library

Lindsey and Mike Outside FSU London Study Center

Lindsey and Mike Outside FSU London Study Center

 

It All Starts Here: Digital Scholarship @ FSU

This semester I set to the task of conducting an environmental scan of digital scholarship at FSU, focusing specifically on projects, faculty, and researchers incorporating various kinds of audio-visual media, tools, and platforms into their work. This project, building off my previous research in digital humanities initiatives using audio-visual media outside the University and the growing interest in such projects in the DH field at large, attempts to identify new horizons and domains for DRS to explore.

The goals of this undertaking lie somewhere between generating a possible blueprint for preservation and access to such projects (a goal traditionally sought by archives or media labs) and making new connections for FSU’s Office of Digital Research and Scholarship (DRS) which is a goal aligned with this emerging entity in academic libraries we are calling digital scholarship centers (Lippincott, et al 2014). Over the course of the semester, I’ve spoken with ethnomusicologists, new media artists, choreographers, digital humanities scholars, GIS experts, digital archivists, and web developers (just to name a few) with the hopes of finding common threads to weave into a shared infrastructure of AV media-focused resources for library collaborations. Although daunting, the value of such an environmental scan has been concisely articulated by E. Leigh Bonds:

I was less interested in labeling [the research of faculty at Ohio State University] than I was in learning what researchers were doing or wanted to do, and what support they needed to do it. Ultimately, I viewed the environmental scan as the first step towards coordinating a community of researchers (2018).

Bonds’ mission of “coordinating a community” is especially apt considering the wide array of scholarship happening at Florida State University. Despite differences in disciplines, approaches, and aims, the use of digital technologies in working with AV media has become a ubiquitous necessity that requires distinct but often overlapping tools and skill-sets. The digital scholarship center, as noted by Christina Kamposiori, operating under a “hub and spoke” organizational model, can effectively serve as a networking node and site of scholarly intersections and cross-pollination (2017).

Such an arrangement, eclipsing traditional conceptions of the library as simply a book repository or service center, better positions library faculty and staff to exercise their knowledge and expertise as technologist partners in scholarly projects working with digital AV content while also enhancing the research ecosystem through developing shared resources. This setup, while dependent on many complex factors, is attainable if the digital scholarship center can effectively check and track the pulse of its community of researchers, identifying their areas of interest, needs, and prospective directions. For DRS, some observations drawn from my environmental scan seems like a good place to begin.

One genre of support DRS and other library units working with digital media can begin to cultivate is providing documentation, preservation, and data management frameworks for digital projects whose final form exists outside traditional “deliverables” of academic scholarship (i.e. print-based publications, and the like). These can be “new media” objects like e-publications and websites, or more complex outputs like performances and/or artworks incorporating many different layers of digital technologies. The work of Tim Glenn, Professor in the School of Dance, is a great example of this kind of intricate digital scholarship which blends choreographic craft and technical execution to create captivating performances. One piece in particular, Triptych (2012), relies on the coordinated interaction between dancers’ bodies, cameras, projectors, and pre-edited video to create what Glenn calls “a total theater experience.”

The amount of digital data and infrastructure that goes into such a project is a bit staggering when we consider the lattice of capture and projection video signals, theater AV technology, lighting control signals, and creating the video documentation of the performance space itself. Glenn’s website is a testament to his own stellar efforts to capture and document these features of the work, but as many archivists and conservators will attest, this level of artist-provided documentation is often not the case (Rinehart & Ippolito, Chapters 1-2, 2014). With this kind of complex digital scholarship, DRS can develop models along a spectrum, either directly with researchers on developing documentation plans and schemas from the ground-up (see examples of such work from The Daniel Langlois Foundation and Matters in Media Art) or serving as a conduit for depositing these digital objects into FSU’s scholarship repository, DigiNole, to ensure their long-term accessibility.

Of course, the other side of the coin is the maintenance, compatibility, and sustainability of such platforms and repositories at the University. DigiNole, built on the Islandora open-source software framework, is the crown jewel of FSU’s digital collections. It serves as the access point to the digital collections of FSU libraries as well as the University’s research repository and green OA platform for works created by faculty, staff, and students. An incredibly valuable and integral part of the library’s mission, Diginole has the advantage being built on an extensible, open-source platform that can be expanded to accommodate a wide variety of digital objects (not to mention that it is also maintained by talented and dedicated librarians, developers, and administrators).

As such, DigiNole can play an equally integral role in data management and documentation projects as a repository of complex, multifaceted digital objects. The challenge will be normalizing data into formats that retain the necessary information or “essence” of the original data while also ensuring compatibility with the Islandora framework. Based on my conversation with FSU’s Digital Archivist, Krystal Thomas, another, more long-term, goal to enhance the digital preservation infrastructure of the library will be implementing a local instance of Archivematica, another open-source software framework that is specifically designed to address the unique challenges of long-term digital preservation of complex media. Another step the University can potentially take in increasing this infrastructure across campus is to seek out a trusted data repository certification. For those of us working in digital scholarship centers, these kinds of aspirations will always be moving targets, as is the nature of the technological landscape. But having a strongest possible grasp on the local needs and conditions of the scholastic community we work with will allow both librarians and administration to channel resources and energy into initiatives that have the highest and most palpable impacts and benefits.

Ultimately, the kind of infrastructure DRS or any other academic unit wishes to build should be in response to the needs of its scholars and foster solutions that have cross-disciplinary applications and implications. Whether generating data management plans, developing scholarly interfaces, or building out our homegrown digital repositories, an R1 institution like Florida State University needs systems that account for the wide variety of scholarship happening both on-campus and at its many satellite and auxiliary facilities. Looking towards the future, we can glimpse the kind of fruitful digital scholarship happening at FSU in the work of undergraduates like Suzanne Raybuck. Her contributions to Kris Harper and Ron Doel’s Exploring Greenland project and whose fascinating personal research on the construction of digital narratives in video games represent promising digital scholarship that bridges archival, humanities, and pedagogical research. Hopefully DRS and its partner organizations can keep pace with such advancements and continue to improve its services and scope of partnerships.

Acknowledgments

Enormous thank you to the entire staff of FSU’s Office of Digital Research and Scholarship for allowing me the space to pursue this research over the past year, namely Sarah Stanley, Micah Vandegrift, Matt Hunter, Devin Soper, Rachel Smart, and Associate Dean Jean Phillips. Thanks to Professor Tim Glenn and Assistant Professor Hannah Schwadron in the School of Dance, Assistant Professors Rob Duarte and Clint Sleeper in the College of Fine Arts, Assistant Professor Sarah Eyerly in the College of Music, doctoral candidate Mark Sciuchetti in the Department of Geography, Krystal Thomas, Digital Archivist at Special Collections & Archives, and Presidential/UROP Scholar Suzanne Raybuck for your time, contributions, and conversations that helped shape this research.

WORKS CITED

Bonds, E. L. (2018) “First Things First: Conducting an Environmental Scan.” dh+lib, “Features.” Retrieved from: http://acrl.ala.org/dh/2018/01/31/first-things-first-conducting-an-environmental-scan/

Kamposiori, C. (2017) The role of Research Libraries in the creation, archiving, curation, and preservation of tools for the Digital Humanities. Research Libraries UK. Retrieved from http://www.rluk.ac.uk/news/rluk-report-the-role-of-research-libraries-in-the-creation-archiving-curation-and-preservation-of-tools-for-the-digital-humanities/

Lippincott, J., Hemmasi, H. & Vivian Lewis (2014) “Trends in Digital Scholarship Centers.” EDUCAUSE Review. Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2014/6/trends-in-digital-scholarship-centers

Rinehart, R. & Ippolito, J. (2014) Re-Collection: Art, New Media, and Social Memory. The MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts.

FSU Libraries’ Celebration of Newly Tenured Faculty

Florida State University President John Thrasher and the FSU Libraries will host a Celebration of Newly Tenured Faculty and Showcase of the Library Endowment Book Collection at the President’s House this week. This special initiative serves the dual purpose of honoring the great achievement of earning tenure, while also helping to sustain the University Libraries’ ongoing efforts to develop collections that support teaching, research, and intellectual inquiry.

Every year, members of the new class of tenured faculty hand-pick an item for the libraries to purchase or from the FSU Libraries’ vast collections. These new and current library holdings are then book plated and inscribed with the faculty member’s name and the year. In addition, the faculty members are asked to contribute a brief paragraph explaining why the book they selected is meaningful to them.

Each of the books will be on display at the President’s House during a special reception.

To view a list of honored faculty and the books they selected, please visit lib.fsu.edu/celebrationoftenure.

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY JOINING OPEN TEXTBOOK NETWORK TO ADDRESS AFFORDABILITY CONCERNS

Florida State University Libraries is joining the Open Textbook Network (OTN) to encourage broader adoption of free, openly licensed textbooks and course materials that are available at no cost to students. The OTN is an alliance of 600 institutions working together to promote access, affordability, and student success through the use of open textbooks.

The cost of commercial course materials has risen at 300% the rate of inflation since 1978, and research suggests that this trend has a number of negative impacts on student success. According to the College Board, undergraduates spend an average of $1200 on textbooks annually. Faced with these costs, many students choose to not buy a required text, make do with an older edition, or take fewer courses — and some even drop or fail a course completely.

In addition to hosting the Open Textbook Library, arguably the premier source of peer-reviewed open textbooks, the OTN promotes broader adoption of these resources at member institutions through:

  • Faculty development workshops to support instructors in identifying and adopting open textbooks for their classes;
  • Staff training to enhance institutional support for open textbook adoption on campus;
  • Collecting data to demonstrate the impact of open textbook adoptions on affordability and student success.

“As only the second university in Florida to join the OTN, FSU is positioned to become a statewide leader on textbook affordability,” said Julia Zimmerman, Dean of University Libraries. “We believe that this membership will yield significant benefits for faculty and students across the University, providing our faculty and staff with expert training on how to find, evaluate, and implement open textbooks, and generating tremendous savings to students as a result.”
To date, OTN member institutions have saved their students over $8.5 million dollars on course materials. The Open Textbook Library includes over 400 titles, the vast majority of which have been peer-reviewed by experts across the country. Further, the OTN reports that approximately 40% of participants in its faculty development workshops go on to adopt open textbooks in their courses, resulting in near-immediate savings for students without compromising academic freedoms or integrity.

FSU Libraries plans to host OTN workshops for faculty and staff in Fall 2018, during International Open Access Week, Oct. 22-28. These workshops follow the University’s first Open Education Symposium, which the Libraries hosted in March 2018. More details about the Fall 2018 workshops will be announced as they become available.

For more information about FSU’s OTN membership or the Libraries’ Open & Affordable Textbook Initiative, contact Devin Soper (dsoper@fsu.edu | 850.645.2600). For more information about open textbooks and educational resources, more generally, visit http://guides.lib.fsu.edu/oer.

2018 FSU Great Give

1.pngFSU’s Great Give is a 36-hour online giving campaign in support of academic programs, scholarships and student activities at Florida State University. Florida State supporters can make gifts from 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 22 until the campaign ends at 9 p.m. on Friday, March 23.

This year the FSU Libraries will be focused on two very important funds.

1.  Support the Heritage Fund: Your gift to the Heritage Museum will be used to take care of the Museum, open it more often with longer hours, enhance and update its exhibits, upgrade the space including improving lighting, and creating ways to safely display valuable objects. Learn More: http://fla.st/2prGvTS

2.  Textbooks for C.A.R.E. Students: The Text Book Fund will purchase text books to be borrowed by students throughout the semester at no cost to them.  Students who are already receiving financial aid or are on scholarship may still be eligible for this fund. Learn More: http://fla.st/2FNXrPf

To learn more about our funds and how you can help, please visit the links above. Remember, giving starts at 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 22!

2017 FLORIDA BOOK AWARDS WINNERS ANNOUNCED

With its twelfth annual competition now complete, the Florida Book Awards has announced winners for books published in 2017. More than 200 eligible publications were submitted across the eleven categories of competition.

iStock-847752824Coordinated by the Florida State University Libraries, the Florida Book Awards is the nation’s most comprehensive state book awards program. It was established in 2006 to celebrate the best Florida literature. Authors must be full-time Florida residents, except in the Florida nonfiction and visual arts categories, where the subject matter must focus on Florida.

Setting the standard for future cash prizes, the “Gwen P. Reichert Gold Medal for Children’s Literature”, now in its third year, is awarded to Brandon resident, Rob

Sanders for Rodzilla (Simon and Schuster) This $1000 cash award is in memory of Gwen P. Reichert and serves as a lasting tribute to her accomplishments as a rare book collector, nurturer of authors, and educator of children. Also awarded were the Richard E. Rice Gold Medal Award for Visual Arts to Jared Beck and Pamela Miner for River and Road (University of Florida Press) and the Phillip and Dana Zimmerman Gold Medal for Florida Nonfiction to Arlo Haskell for The Jews of Key West (Sand Paper Press). These two category winners each receive a $500 cash award.

The winning authors from across the state will be honored at the Abitz Family Dinner, the annual awards banquet, which will take place in Tallahassee on April 12th at the Mission San Luis. The public is invited to attend. More information will be available on the Florida Book Awards website.

Florida Book Awards 2017 Winners by Category

GWEN P. REICHERT GOLD MEDAL AWARD FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN’S LITERATURE: Rob Sanders

RICHARD E. RICE GOLD MEDAL AWARD FOR VISUAL ARTS: Jared Beck and Pamela Miner

Phillip and Dana Zimmerman Gold Medal Prize for Florida Nonfiction: Arlo Haskell

 

YOUNGER CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

Gold: Rob Sanders (Brandon),Rodzilla (Simon and Schuster)

Silver: Carrie Clickar (Gainesville), Dumpling Dreams (Simon and Schuster)

Bronze: Marianne Berkes, (Orange City), Baby on Board: How Animals Carry Their Young

 

OLDER CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

Gold: Ed Masessa (Florida), Wandmaker’s Apprentice (Scholastic)

Silver: R.M. Romero (Miami Beach), The Dollmaker of Krakow (Penguin Random House)

Bronze: Rodman Philbrick (Florida Keys) Who Killed Darius Drake? (Scholastic)

 

COOKING

Gold: Norman Van Aken (Miami) Norman Van Aken’s Florida Kitchen (University of Florida Press)

 

FLORIDA NONFICTION:

Gold: Arlo Haskell, (Key West) The Jews of Key West (Sand Paper Press)

Silver:  Frank Cassell (Sarasota), Suncoast Empire (Pineapple Press)

Bronze: Julio Capó Jr., Welcome to Fairyland (UNC Press)

 

GENERAL FICTION

GOLD: Laura Lee Smith (St. Augustine), The Ice House (Grove Press)

SILVER: Elizabeth Sims (Bradenton), Crimes in a Second Language (Spruce Park Press)

BRONZE: Randy Wayne White (Sanibel), Mangrove Lightning (G.P Putnam Sons)

 

GENERAL NONFICTION:

GOLD: Edwidge Danticat (Miami),The Art of Death (Graywolf Press)

SILVER: D. Bruce Means (Tallahassee), Diamonds in the Rough (Tall Timbers Press)

BRONZE: Kristine Harper (Tallahassee), Make it Rain: State Control of the Atmosphere in Twentieth-Century America (University of Chicago Press)

 

POETRY

GOLD: Kaveh Akbar (Tallahassee), Calling a Wolf (Alice James Books)

SILVER: Terry Ann Thaxton (Winter Springs), Mud Song (Truman State University Press)

BRONZE: Michael Hettich (Miami Shores), The Frozen Harbor (Red Dragonfly Press)

 

POPULAR FICTION:

GOLD: Patrick Gussin (Longboat Key), Come Home (Oceanview Publishing)

SILVER: Robert Macomber (Pine Island), An Honorable War (Pineapple Press)

BRONZE: Ward Larsen (Sarasota), Assassin’s Code (Forge Books)

 

SPANISH LANGUAGE

GOLD: Pedro Medina León (Coral Gables), Varsovia ( Sudaquia Editores)

SILVER: Carlos García Pandiello (Miami), Jaspora (Aduana Vieja Editorial)

 

VISUAL ARTS:

GOLD: Jared Beck (Naples) and Pamela Miner (Fort Myers), River and Road (University of Florida Press)

 

YOUNG ADULT:

GOLD: Jenny Torres Sanchez (Orlando), Because of the Sun (Delacorte Press)

Submissions for the 2017 awards were read by juries of three members, each nominated from across the state by co-sponsoring organizations. Jurors are authorized to select up to three medalists (including one gold winner, one silver runner-up and one bronze medalist) in each of the eleven categories; jurors are also authorized to make no selections in a given year.

The Florida State University Libraries coordinate the Florida Book Awards with assistance from co-sponsors including the Florida Center for the Book; the State Library and Archives of Florida; the Florida Historical Society; the Florida Humanities Council; the Florida Literary Arts Coalition; the Florida Library Association; the Florida Association for Media in Education; the Center for Literature and Theatre @ Miami Dade College; the Florida Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America; Friends of FSU Libraries; the Florida Writers Association; the Florida Literacy Coalition; and “Just Read, Florida!”

Learn more about the Florida Book Awards at floridabookawards.lib.fsu.edu.

The Learning Curve: A Digital Pedagogy Internship in Review

Digital Pedagogy is difficult to define. Among other things, it is an idea, a philosophy, a way of thinking, and how instructors think about instructional tools. There is no manual on “how to” Digital Pedagogy. There are no instructions to follow, and it is only an emerging idea and field, which makes it all the more experimental. This semester, FSU Libraries decided to take on a new Digital Pedagogy initiative. This is where I came in, and like instructors and schools that have adopted Digital Pedagogy initiatives, I quickly learned how difficult these new projects can be to implement.

I started my internship with FSU’s Office of Digital Research Scholarship (DRS) in August. It was also my first semester starting life as an Information Science graduate student. Truthfully, there are few times in life where I have entered into a new position with absolutely zero expectations (because I had genuinely no idea what I was getting myself into), but beginning my internship with DRS’ new Digital Pedagogy initiative was one of those times.

If it is not yet clear, yes, Digital Pedagogy is really broad. While I was familiar with both terms separately, “Digital Pedagogy” was new. So, upon receiving the call that I would be working on this new initiative, I immediately began my Google search. I sifted through articles about using technology to enhance education and the philosophies that espoused beliefs about Digital Pedagogy meaning more than simply using technology in classrooms, but using it to expand critical thinking and provide opportunities for growth and development. It was a broad topic, but I was certain that my role in the internship would be more focused, so I entered FSU’s DRS Commons with confidence and just a few nerves.

On Day 1, I met Micah, one of the creators of this new initiative. Sitting in the DRS commons, he told me that my role would be to create a project dealing with Digital Pedagogy. Like Digital Pedagogy, there were no constraints, no rules, or requirements. Needless to say, this ambiguity was mildly alarming to my Type A personality.

Putting aside my sudden impending anxiety, I turned to Lindsey, the Distance Librarian, who was also pioneering the initiative. Lindsey sent me articles and research on Digital Pedagogy, and eventually, this led me down the Rabbit Hole of Research and I discovered Dr. L. Dee Fink’s 2003 paper “A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning.” This guide is designed to help college-level instructors design their courses so that students leave with more than a grade in the course, but knowledge and passion that extends beyond the semester.

It is no secret that many instructors do not consider pedagogy or educational theory when designing their courses, and this guide was created to help instructors think about these areas. Yet, I wondered, how many instructors have read the guide? How many instructors even knew it existed? Thus, the Canvas Module “Designing Courses for Significant Learning” was born.

17941

The note-taking process became extensive

The idea behind the module was that it would be a resource to instructors and the emerging Center for Advancement of Teaching on campus. For weeks, I drafted the module, picked apart the guide to decide which areas to keep and discard, learned how to create items on the Canvas LMS, and put hours of work into making supplementary materials for the module that did not exist in the original guide. After several weeks, the project felt complete. I included pre-tests to help guide learners to navigate the module and created navigation tools so that the material did not have to be read or completed in a linear fashion, as learning itself is rarely linear. I included graphs, videos, and personal writing assignments for users to work alongside the module. In the end, I was certain this would be a great resource and, perhaps, might help bridge the gap of how to bring Educational Theory to Higher Education instructors, using Digital Pedagogy.

(As reference, here are some visuals of things I created. The first I created using Canva as a short reference for instructors to take “on the fly” or to be used as a short reminder to instructors after they work through the module. The second and third are screenshots of something that I assumed would be very easy but ended up being the most frustrating part of creating the module- figuring out how to edit the navigation- without knowing HTML. Thanks to basic HTML YouTube videos and too much time spent playing with the system (far more time than I care to admit), I managed to somewhat break through the LMS-barrier and non-linear course structure actually became a possibility.)

Significant Learning Infographic-2  sigsig

If you are anticipating an impending but or however, here it is. I created the module with guidance from Micah and Lindsey for the Center for Advancement of Teaching and instructors on campus, but left out the obvious piece of the puzzle: meeting with the director of the Center for Advancement of Teaching. So, when this meeting finally happened in November, it should have been no surprise when she told me, regretfully, that the project was not one that aligned with the current work of the Center. In other words, the weeks of work, hair-pulling, and stress of beginning a new graduate program and internship while continuing my full-time job, suddenly felt ultimately and utterly useless. I told her it was fine. It wasn’t, really.

After some deep reflection and head-to-desk moments of frustration, however, I have come to the conclusion that the overall experience was a positive one. I learned much as a first semester Information Science graduate student taking on a library internship. Primarily, I discovered how self-directed libraries can be. Though I had guidance from Micah and Lindsey, the project was ultimately mine to decide, create, and implement. I also learned how, frankly, it does not matter how much momentum and excitement begin a project, these factors do not mean the project will be successful or go exactly as planned.

Like Digital Pedagogy, creating a project from scratch, for an initiative that has not been established in the library, is difficult. There is no how-to guide for problem solving through issues or getting everyone on board with an idea. It takes time, energy, and flexibility. When one idea falls through, rather than dwell on the failures of the past, there is no option but to pick up the pieces and keep moving forward. If I had more time with the library, I would venture to do just that, but as the semester is coming to a close, I am ultimately grateful for the opportunities I had to experience the many facets of what it means to be in an Academic Library.

Open Access Week 2017

There is a serious, systemic problem in scholarly publishing that disadvantages academic authors, their institutions, the global research community, and the general public. The problem stems from the subscription-based model of scholarly publishing, whereby publishers place academic journal articles behind paywalls so that anyone who can’t pay can’t read them.

Open Access (OA) is a movement based on the principle that this situation is fundamentally unethical, and that the fruits of academic endeavor should be freely available to everyone. OA archiving and publishing are the two main strategies for accomplishing this goal, and they promise to benefit both the global research community and individual authors, moving published research into the open and thereby broadening its readership and generating more citations. OA is also fast becoming a requirement for recipients of research funding, as many public and private funding agencies have enacted public access policies to make the results of funded research accessible to all.

Open Access Week, Oct. 23-29, is an opportunity for the global research community to learn more about this important movement and the many ongoing efforts to make it the new norm in research and scholarship. To celebrate the occasion, FSU Libraries is hosting a number of workshops related to openness in research and education, and we hope you’ll join us to learn more about OA and how it can benefit you as a student, teacher, or researcher:

Open Educational Resources (OER) are free to access, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute. This workshop will cover the benefits of using OER, resources for finding and evaluating OER, and considerations for sharing OER-based courseware and assignments with the world. This workshop will also provide a brief introduction to Creative Commons (CC) licenses and their role in the creation of Open Educational Resources (OER).

Interested in Open Access (OA) publishing, but concerned about the growing problem of “predatory” publishers? What are the benefits of OA publishing, and what tools and strategies can you use to evaluate the quality of OA journals? What about options for funding (or obtaining waivers) to cover OA article processing charges? This workshop will provide answers to these questions and more.

Wondering how to find the best conferences and publication venues in your discipline? What about building your scholarly profile and communicating the impact of your research in ways that will resonate with a broader audience? And, once you’ve got your work out there, what can you do to assess and quantify the impact of your research? This workshop will cover a range of tools and strategies that early-career researchers can use to accomplish these objectives and more.

In addition, we’d also like to take this opportunity to highlight some important ways that the Libraries support the FSU community in taking action to advance openness in research and education:

So, what can you do to advance the cause of OA through your own research and teaching?

For more information, see our research guides on Open Access Publishing and the Open Textbook Movement , or contact Devin Soper, Scholarly Communications Librarian at FSU Libraries’ Office of Digital Research & Scholarship. And don’t forget to follow the conversation on Twitter! #OAweekFSU

Bringing Data Carpentry to FSU

My name is Rachel Smart and I’m a graduate assistant for Digital Research and Scholarship. I was adopted by DRS in mid-March when the Goldstein Library was reamed of its collection. It was devastating for the 2% of the campus who knew of its existence. Bitterness aside, I’m very grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given by the DRS staff who warmly welcomed me to their basement layer; here I’m being swiftly enthralled by the Open Access battle cry. The collaborative atmosphere and constant stream of projects never fails to hold my interest. Which leads me to Data Carpentry…

In May of this year, I met with Micah Vandegrift (boss and King of Extroverts) regarding my progress and the future direction of my work with DRS. He presented me with the task of running a data workshop here in our newly renovated space. Having never organized something this scale before, I was caught off guard. However, I understood the importance and need for data literacy and management trainings here on campus, and I was excited by the prospect of contributing to the establishment of a Data Carpentry presence here at FSU. Micah was kind enough to supply me with a pair of floaties before dropping me into the deep end. He initiated first contact with Deb Paul from iDigBio, a certified Data Carpentry instructor, here on campus and I joined the conversation from there.

It took a few weeks of phone calls and emails before we had a committed instructor line-up, and we were able to apply for a self-organized Data Carpentry workshop in April. Instructors Matthew Collins, Sergio Marconi, and Henry Senyondo from the University of Florida taught the introduction to R, R visualizations, and SQL portions of the workshop. I was informed that you aren’t a true academic librarian until you’ve had to wrestle with a Travel Authorization form, and I completed them for three different people, so I feel thoroughly showered in bureaucratic splendor. However, the most obstructive item on my multipart to-do list of 34+ tasks was finding the money to pay for food. DRS has an event budget with which we paid the self-hosting fee and our instructors’ traveling expenses, but we were not allowed to use it for food. This delayed the scheduling process, and if it weren’t for the generous assistance from iDigBio, we would have had some very hungry and far fewer attendees. If I were blessed with three magical freebies for the next potential Data Carpentry event, I would use the first to transform our current event budget into food-friendly money, and I would save the other two in case anything went wrong (ex, a vendor never received an order). This may seem overly cautious, but just ask anyone who had to organize anything. We are perfectly capable of completing these tasks on our own or with a team, but some freebies for the tasks which fall beyond our control would come in handy.

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The event ran smoothly and we had full attendance from the 20 registered attendees. As busy as I was in the background during the event, attendees came up to me and let me know how well the workshop was going. There were also comments indicating we could do things a little differently during the lessons. I think most of the issues that sprung up during the event were troubleshooting software errors and discrepancies in the instructions for some of the lessons, for example, the SQLite instructions were written using the desktop version of the program and not the browser plugin everyone was using. The screen we used to display the lessons and programming demos was the largest we could find, but it was still difficult for some people to see. However, adjustments were made and attendees were able to continue participating.

The most rewarding element of the experience for me were the resulting discussions among participants during planned collaboration in lessons and unplanned collaboration during breaks and long lunch periods. The majority of our participants have various backgrounds in the Biological Sciences, but as individuals they had different approaches to solving problems. These approaches frequently resulted in discussions between participants about how their various backgrounds and research impacted their relationship with the tools and concepts they were learning at Data Carpentry. On both days of the event, participants came together in our conference room for lunch and rehashed what they had learned so far. They launched into engaging discussions with one another and with DRS staff about the nature of our work and how we can work together on future initiatives. This opportunity to freely exchange ideas sparked creative ideas relating to the Data Carpentry workshops themselves. On the second day, an increased number of participants brought their own project data to work with in workshop exercises.

The future of Data Carpentry here at FSU looks bright, whether I will be there for the next workshop is unknown. Thank you, Deb Paul, Micah Vandegrift, Emily Darrow, Kelly Grove, and Carolyn Moritz for helping me put this workshop together, and thank you to everyone who participated or contributed in any way.

Spring 2017: A User Experience Internship In Review

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It’s my final semester in the iSchool program, and I made it. I had a long journey from the start, including a brief hiatus, and yet I returned to finish with a passion – I even received the F. William Summers Award to prove my academic success. But perfect GPA aside, I’m most proud of my personal and professional development while remotely interning for the Office of Digital Research and Scholarship. The highlight was visiting FSU for the first time this semester and working in the office for a full week. Through meetings, workshops, and events, I learned even more and enjoyed interacting with the team in person. It was a fun and informative visit which I’d recommend any remote intern to do, if possible.

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A beautiful Tallahassee day at Strozier Library.

My Spring semester objective was to learn more about user experience (UX) and apply it by compiling a report for the office’s website redesign. To prepare for the process, I spent half of the semester reading journal articles, checking out books, and utilizing online sources such as LibUX, Usability.gov, and Lynda.com via FSU. The other half of the semester, I applied what UX principles I learned to consult the office on how to redesign their current website. With this project, I now have a foundation in UX and demonstrated the process through quantitative research, user personas, and visual design. It’ll be exciting to see what recommendations will be used and how it’ll impact existing and new users.

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Hitting the books on web and UX design to Depeche Mode.

Overall the yearly internship was somewhat unconventional since I worked remotely, but I was still able to understand the parts that make up a whole within digital scholarship. At this point I better comprehend how technology is changing research support and the research process as well. Although my time as an intern has ended, I’m looking forward to seeing what more the Office of DRS has to offer in the future – the new website included. I am grateful to have been introduced and involved with such a supportive and innovative community at FSU.

Thank you, Micah Vandegrift, for your leadership and mentorship, and the entire DRS team, for sharing your time and knowledge. With your guidance, I made it! 🎓