v32#1 And They Were There- Reports of Meetings- 39th Annual Charleston Conference

by | Apr 1, 2020 | 0 comments


Charleston Conference Reports compiled by:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine) 

Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition, “The Time has Come … to Talk of Many Things!” Charleston Gaillard Center, Francis Marion Hotel, Embassy Suites Historic Downtown, and Courtyard Marriott Historic District — Charleston, SC, November 4-8, 2019

Column Editor’s Note:  Thanks to all of the Charleston Conference attendees who agreed to write short reports highlighting sessions they attended at the 2019 Charleston Conference.  Attempts were made to provide a broad coverage of sessions, but there are always more sessions than there are reporters.  Some presenters posted their slides and handouts in the online conference schedule. Please visit the conference site, http://www.charlestonlibraryconference.com/, and link to selected videos, interviews, as well as to blog reports written by Charleston Conference blogger, Donald Hawkins.  The 2019 Charleston Conference Proceedings will be published in 2020, in partnership with Purdue University Presshttp://www.thepress.purdue.edu/series/charleston.

Even if not noted with the reports, videos of most sessions as well as other video offerings like the “Views from the Penthouse Suite” interviews are being posted to the Charleston Conference YouTube Channel as they are completed, and are sorted into playlists by date for ease of navigation.

In this issue of ATG, you will find the first installment of 2019 conference reports.  We will continue to publish all of the reports received in upcoming print issues throughout the year. — RKK


Conference reflections from the Society for Scholarly Publishing & Charleston Library Conference 2019 Scholarship Award Winner

Reported by Lynnee Argabright  (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science) 

Attending the 2019 Charleston Conference felt like a week of good fortune.  I’m a second-year library graduate student at UNC-CH, so any chance to get out to a conference bears a lot of potential for me.  I was able to meet and co-mingle as a respected peer among library-focused professionals from all over the country.  We chatted about transitions as we walked to and from the Gaillard Center, and my ideas were taken seriously at Monday’s ATG Trendspotting Initiative.  There were a lot of other fantastic opportunities for me as a graduate student — I got my resume reviewed thoroughly at the Career Center, and I found graduate students from other library school programs.  I talked with early career librarians in health sciences, scholarly communications, law, and federal library associations. I congratulated my neighbor from NC State who received the Charleston Up & Comer award.  The people I met are all connections I can develop and can motivate me to succeed.

As a scholarship awardee, I was able to register for a free preconference, and I was also assigned a conference mentor.  Ramune Kubilius so actively took me under her wing, pointing me out to others at sessions, introducing me to the Conference Directors, and encouraging me to come to the Health Sciences Lively Lunchtime Discussion.  The SSP group also welcomed me, and even invited me to join their Chat with the Chefs panel.  This incredible introduction to the scholarly communications ecosystem truly made me feel honored and challenged to participate in the conversation.


Gale Table Talks: How Academic Libraries Play a Prominent Role in Advancing Digital Humanities on Campus — Moderated by Library Journal, the panel included:  Doug Duhaime (Yale University), Paige C. Morgan (University of Delaware), Marc Cormier (Gale, a Cengage Company)

Note:  This was a sponsored lunch not listed in the conference schedule that was open to those who registered.  It was held on Thursday of the Charleston Conference during which highlights from a recent partnered research study and white paper by Gale and Library Journal were provided.

Reported by Audrey Powers  (University of South Florida) 

This very well organized panel presentation included Duhaime (Digital Humanities Software Developer, Yale University), Dr. Morgan (Head of Digital Scholarship and Publishing Services, University of Delaware), and Cormier (Director, Digital Scholarship and Humanities, Gale, a Cengage Company).  Moderated by Lisa Peet (Library Journal), the panel discussed “the library’s influential role in driving digital humanities capabilities, the use and impact of digital humanities at colleges and universities, overcoming barriers and looking ahead to the future of digital humanities.”

Information regarding the importance of digital humanities in academia and the library’s significance in moving digital humanities forward on campus was emphasized.  A recent research study including the results of a survey that was disseminated to academic libraries worldwide and the resultant white paper, Digital Humanities in Action, was distributed and discussed. The white paper succinctly lays out the survey results in a graphically appealing manner with key points enumerated.  Throughout the panel presentation digital humanities projects in academic institutions were mentioned, along with the use and availability of free software.


Hacking for Good: How libraries can ‘hack’ their systems and organizations to align with future outcomes and solve the problems that truly matter — Presented by Alex Humphreys (JSTOR Labs), Curtis Michelson (Minds Alert, LLC), Caroline Muglia (University of Southern California), Heather Staines (MIT Knowledge Futures Group), Geoff Timms (College of Charleston) — https://sched.co/Qg0H

Note:  This was a preconference session for which registration was required.

Reported by Lynnee Argabright  (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science) 

This three-hour preconference successfully unpacked our library problems and set us up for achieving success by getting ourselves out of our way.  Led by, primarily, Humphreys and Michelson, attendees were taught various exercises to work through the stages of problem solving.  The speakers broke the room into two teams — the “Walruses” and the “Carpenters” — who then practiced a series of recommended exercises to solve an interesting problem.  One especially neat takeaway was a method called “dot-voting” that was used for selecting from a list fairly. Attendees found with surprise that these exercises worked most effectively when with others uninvolved in the problem, and when all dumb ideas were perceived as good ideas.  As Muglia assured us, having recently managed a successful “hack” at her library, we can all be hackers; as an example, having a goal in mind and working backwards can help break down the steps and the feasibility.

Only seven attendees signed up, which was likely due to the extra registration cost rather than a lack of interest.  The engagement, energy, and ideas generated suggested that the session could easily have lasted all day. 

(The session’s slides and a link to a previous webinar can be found in Sched.)

Of Views and Slips and Usage Stats, of Data Frames and Strings: An Introduction to Collections Data Analysis — Presented by Heidi Tebbe (NC State University Libraries), Danica Lewis (NC State University Libraries) — https://sched.co/Qg0K

  This was a preconference session for which registration was required.

Reported by John Banionis  (Villanova University) 

Tebbe and Lewis began the session with a broad overview of best practices for data management, followed by questions to consider when developing a data analysis project.  Attendees were then invited to participate in small group activities analyzing sample journal usage statistics in COUNTER 5 format and sample ILS book circulation statistics.  Next, the presenters discussed the value of creating your own data documentation when it is otherwise missing, using GOBI output fields as an example.  Lastly, the presenters offered an overview of R, RStudio, and R code packages, the benefits of using R over Excel or Python, and some example R visualizations with library use cases.  The attendees were again invited to a small group activity to brainstorm on effective visualization choices for presenting the results of the earlier group data analysis. Running short on time, the session ended with a discussion on planning future data analysis projects, and attendees received a cheat sheet on the ggplot2 visualization package as a guide for their own future forays into using R.  

That’s all the reports we have room for in this issue.  Watch for more reports from the 2019 Charleston Conference in upcoming issues of Against the Grain.  Presentation material (PowerPoint slides, handouts) and taped session links from many of the 2019 sessions are available online.  Visit the Conference Website at www.charlestonlibraryconference.com. — KS


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