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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Presentations at Academic Library Conference

The MiALA conference will have five sets of presenters from WMU Libraries at their May conference. Topic tags include reorganization, technical services, critical librarianship, sustainable public computing and printing, engagement of student patrons, evolving the research consultation, and greater outreach.
Geri Rinna, Marianne Swierenga, and Emily Gross from the Resource Management department at University Libraries will present "Re: Structuring, Organizing, Inventing, and Imagining Technical Services". As the library system migrated to the cloud in 2015 with a new integrated library system (ILS) and discovery layer the adventure began. In 2016, the Libraries began a complete reorganization. Their presentation will outline the changes that occurred in WMU's Technical Services Department as a result of the ILS migration and new overall organizational structure in the Libraries, and how technical services faculty and staff have adapted and seized the opportunity to reinvent the department.

'You Are Welcome Here!: Academic libraries sustaining inclusive communities in a time of political and social divisiveness' is another presentation by
Dianna Sachs, and Carrie Leatherman, from the Instruction and Outreach department, Western Michigan University libraries. After hearing stories of minority and international students feeling insecure about their physical safety and their place in the university in this time of political and social divisiveness, the Libraries created a sticky note Welcome Board to help sustain the community's cohesion. Patrons communicated through anonymous messages of concern, hope, and encouragement. Their session will describe this project, the overwhelmingly positive response from library patrons, and other ways libraries can sustain their diverse communities.

Large white board was used to host the Welcome project

Three poster sessions will also present at the East Lansing conference. 
Creating More Sustainable Public Computing and Printing Services
The four branches of the University Libraries function as one of the most popular public computing and printing labs on WMU’s campus. In recognition of this status, the IT Services department has taken several steps to reduce the environmental impact of these resources.
Presenters: Scott Russell and Joshua Enos, Western Michigan University

Engaging Student Patrons via Traditional and Experimental Technology
The University Libraries recognizes that student patrons are seeking to be engaged differently than they have been. They are expecting more self-service and for services to be delivered at their point of need. The IT Services department within the University Libraries is tackling several projects to meet these newer needs.
Presenters: Scott Russell,  James Lane,  Joshua Enos, and Roy Zimmer, Western Michigan University

SPURing into Action: Evolving the Research Consultation into a Career Readiness Engagement
Information literacy skills are essential to building lifelong critical thinking and problem-solving skills.  In Fall 2016 the library research consultation service was incorporated into a newly launched engagement program required of all business majors to develop career readiness competencies.  This project lead to improvements in service logistics and a rise in research consultations.  Outlook on the program and future efforts to integrate the IL Framework into the research consultation will be discussed.
Presenter: LuMarie Guth, Western Michigan University

Congratulations to these groups that are sharing their successful projects with the greater library community.