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Advisory Committee to the
Associate University Librarian for User Services

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Advisory Committee to the Associate University Librarian for Services Minutes 09 Jun 2008


Advisory Committee to the Associate University Librarian for Services
Meeting Notes for June 9, 2008, 9:00am

Attending: Kirstin Dougan, Susan Duncan, Lisa Hinchliffe, Karen Hogenboom, JoAnn Jacoby, Lori Mestre, Robert Slater, Peggy Steele, Scott Walter

Absent: Meg Burger, Tina Chrzastowski

Public Engagement Working Group

Scott handed out a brief overview (attached) describing the charge, membership and potential members for this working group of the SAC.

The goal of membership in PEWG is to represent major engagement activities through position rather than a focus on specific individuals. Those not represented yet (see attached Members) include ACES/Extension, FRC, and Public Affairs (Cindy Ashwell).

Paula’s charge:

  • Campus’ renewal emphasis on public engagement in the context of our being a Land Grant College.
  • It may be necessary for Paula to make it a priority to represent activities via PEWG membership.

Carnegie classification (report to NC State) due at end of summer along with site visit (Public Engagement Summit coincides with the site visit.)

  • Report Group (large group) met for the first time during the first week of June.
  • Goal of the report is to talk about as many things/programs that answer the strategic Carnegie questions.
  • The Carnegie concept of Library is restrictive. 
  • Up to 15 programs can be mentioned in the report appendix:

­  Extension, Social Work, College of Education, Krannert-Library cultural engagement, Mortensen (has staff, endowment, space, resources), American Music Month

­  Consider: Library-to-campus, Library-to-Friends, Interdepartmental communication & scholarship of engagement

­  Challenge: if actual activities are dominant they can detract from the scholarship of engagement, which requires a research agenda.

­  Consider the length of activity, international scope, level of faculty involvement, resulting publications

Action Needed: Please email comments back to Scott with suggestions of other areas that should be represented in membership.


After the program introduction, a teckie person was paired with a library person to create teams for an observation session in a bookstore, cafeteria or public spaces setting during finals week. They had 30 minutes to observe followed by 30 minutes to write. Although clear patterns emerged in movement through space, seating and walk-by, assumptions were made regarding the identity of those being observed. How do you know if you are observing a student or faculty member?

Three-person groups conducted video interviews with a faculty member regarding researching, followed with a team analysis of the interview. Important factors/considerations included:

  • Naïve interviewing techniques; inability to probe deeper into dialogue to bring out information
  • Development of a good question set as critical to gleaning a process-focused response.
  • Problems with faculty who like to expound rather than giving a direct answer to a direct question.
  • Core set of commonalities are evident
  • Don’t go into the interview process with a preconceived notion to support an agenda
  • To do this kind of study, feasibility review in warranted (cost, timeline, staffing, doability)
  • Those who have not read the secondary literature have more original thinking regarding how to use software in unique and unintended ways
  • Knowing how people actually use a tool on the front end would have resulted in better development

Full resources available online:

Institutional Repositories, Policies, and Disruption. Foster, Gibbons et. al.  

Studying Students: The Undergraduate Research Project at the University of Rochester. Foster & Gibbons

Considerations for making use of this approach:

  • Look at undergraduate practices: how do they move through the process?
  • 10-minute presentation at a faculty meeting
  • ORR usability results (18 months ago)
  • Are we prepared to implement what we learn—to realign resources?
  • Pulling people in, then failure to follow through poses problems.
  • Data: how open-ended the question is results in more honest information than either/or choices

Given constraints, what can we do?

  • Regardless of what researchers do and what they should do
  • Our clientele is forever and also not here
  • Faculty tends to be entrenched, however when they change, it goes very quickly
  • Librarians are servants of all these different disciplines and range of attitudes and ideas


1 more faculty meeting this summer (Joe is the secretary until July, new one in September)

Adjourned at 10:00am, Notes by Chris Johns