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TRY Impressions

Here are some impressions about the TRY conference, from YUL folks who attended:

Ricardo Laskaris writes:

Seamus Ross, (new Dean of University of Toronto’s iSchool) spoke on the necessity of spreading awareness of digital preservation issues beyond library and archives domains, and the role of the University of Toronto in educating students not in how to solve known problems, but in how to approach unknown problems with creativity and new ideas.

[He also pointed us to his previous work, at Digital Preservation Europe.  They produced this fun little video]

Phil Gold presented research on a paper comparing part-time and full-time librarians; he noted the importance of recognizing that users’ experiences with reference staff (the majority of whom are part-time librarians) and circulation staff largely determine the public perception of the value and importance of the library.

Sally Wilson and Graham McCarthy presented on m-learning, the provision of library content and services to mobile devices. They also presented selected results from a Ryerson survey conducted last November on student cell phone use.

Jeannie An and Allison Bell presented on the implementation of mentoring programs for library staff, and on their personal experiences implementing auch a program at McMaster.

Andrea Kosavic and Jeff Newman presented on cloud computing and its implications for libraries and library users. Discussion touched on issues such as privacy, ownership, and security.


I attended the session The Adventure of Building Engagement through Embedded IL: Redesigning PSY309 presented by Joanna Szurmak.  It was interesting to hear her story of curriculum integration and her assessment of the whole exercise.

The interesting question that arose for me was how does  teaching a series of IL workshops on very specific IL subjects translate into overall IL competencies?  Students were tested once in the beginning and once in the end of term.   She had student take the SAILS test which as you may know tests for the ACRL Information Literacy competencies.  There was minimal difference between pre- and post IL instruction results.  These results may not neccesarily reflect negatively on the IL instructor, however…maybe  3rd year students are more IL savvy than we give them credit for.  It would be interesting to compare SAILS results between first year and third year Psych students. Joanna indicated that she assumed curriculum integration would necessitate re-writing entire courses.  Aren’t there creative ways of integrating IL into existing curricula?  Since I am an  Education grad, but not a Librarian,  I was intrigued by this assumption and wondered if this is a view held here at York as well.

Christina Hwang and Catherine Devion (above) from U of T Scarborough gave a session on promoting their 24/7 library services.  I was particularly interested in their success with getting students to show up to focus groups and to complete surveys!  I’ll link to the presentation when they post it.

The final session of the day was a discussion with the three University Librarians.

From Left to right: Carole Moore from University of Toronto; Madeleine Lefebvre from Ryerson and Cynthia Archer from York.

They were asked to prepare answers to various questions about the future of Academic Libraries.  I for one am always curious to hear what the person at the top thinks about the directions we are taking…and they didn’t disappoint.  I noted some differences in points of view, however subtle…but generally they were all “on the same page”,

Lastly, here is a shot of the gang at lunchtime!–Christina