Friday, June 19, 2009

Session 1341 -- Get Acquainted Session - Outreach/Marketing Cluster

Methods to reach faculty and students
· Georgia Tech participates in new student orientation and finds that works well as a fun way to get involved in students’ community from the beginning.
· Megan (Purdue) approached the Civil Engineering department with the news of a digital repository for them – good opportunity to market library and added services, develop working relationship on which to build.
· John ( U Minn.) Developed web pages for each class – didn’t wait for faculty to ask or approve but presented as fait accompli.
· Gretchen (Temple) - vendor fairs work well; attract mostly graduate students and faculty; got great feedback; nice having vendors demo databases and promote new features and opportunities. Patterned after Dartmouth model; held from 11-2; provide food; solicit vendors for financial support and raffle items
· Pasty (Auckland) Use summer vacation to good effect to market latest services, find out about new courses and information needs. Be precise and firm about setting up a meeting: “May I stop by Monday at 2:30? No, then how would Tuesday at 10:00 work?”
· Provide a display area in the library that is dedicated to faculty research – “1,000 people walk by this spot every week – would you like to see your work featured?”
· Provide grant-writing sessions, develop library resources to help (mixed results noted from participants)
· Maliaca (Ariz): Good success generating interest with more general programming (a la public library services). At homecoming, sponsored a Junior Scientist Day. Departments could bring their student groups to feature work; helps faculty fulfill their outreach mission. So many groups wanted to participate, had to restrict numbers. Offers book clubs as a community building program. Developed a speaker series – faculty excited to talk about their research outside their departments.
· Willie (GA Tech)– focus on ABET requirements – ethics tutorials that provided a significant boost to faculty relations
· Provide reference services in the department? Megan noted mixed results. Student lounge is better venue; food key. Impact on staff time is an issue.
· Dave (UCSD), Bring in relevant student projects for display in the library; feature competitions/research
· Scientific art on display – builds community -- and covers bare walls (!)
· LibGuides – don’t ask, just tell you have already completed it, welcome feedback; using WebVista, Moodle
· Get invited to college curriculum committee meetings. Consider what resources they will need, develop presence with faculty, especially new faculty who may not appreciate all the resources available. Help set up keyword alerts, feeds for their research.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

ASEE 2009 Conference Papers Online

Check the ASEE Conference Proceedings web site for access to full text of all ASEE 2009 papers (even though it doesn't say 2009 yet, they really are there when you search).

For ASEE ELD presentations and handouts, check the ELD web site and for presenters who haven't already sent their presentation to be added, email them to Julie Cook, julesck(at)

Special Interest Groups: Assessment of libraries, of learning

Our small group discussed ideas on assessment and tools/strategies used:

... of learning:
  • Outcomes-based, some libraries create outcomes for their overall information literacy programs, some at the course-level, some at the instruction session level. At course-level, one example involved librarian-faculty collaboration to implement 7-question pre and post-test, print journals was an area students have trouble with locating, others mentioned using quizes, looking at projects/papers, getting faculty feedback on improvement in student learning
  • Student self-assessment tied in with larger institutional instruments (a few questions on information literacy are incorporated)
  • One idea is to study how recent alumni have transferred their information literacy knowledge from the university to the workplace
  • Citation analysis of papers/projects
  • Working with faculty on assessment of projects, esp. literature review sections
  • Importance of collaborating with faculty, directors of writing centers and first year programs and tying in with AbET, NEASC and other regional accreditation self-studies, etc.
  • Bruce recommended taking a look at Mark Emmons work at U of New Mexico
  • We joked about using a Facebook quiz. "Everyone would take it."

... of libraries and services:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bats, Bats, and More Bats - A Few Facts (Ain't cha got no rhymes for me?)

  • Where: Austin downtown under the Congress St. bridge (built 1980). The bats moved in soon after (also, in a more natural setting near San Antonio 20 million bats roost at Braken Cave)

  • Mexican free-tailed (Tadarida brasiliensis) : 1.5 million under the bridge all day, feeling groovy (visitors during the day can hear them chirping). Visitors at dusk can see them wisping away across the sky.

  • They eat at up to their body weight in moths and other insects each night

  • Estimated total consumption for Congress St. bridge colony per night: 10-15 tons of insects. Yum!

  • Size of these little gals: around 4-5 inches with 12-14 inch wingspans

  • Travel time when leaving: ~60 miles per hour

  • Travel distance: a couple miles from roost

  • In August the bats in this "maternity colony" each have a cute little pink pup (they all live in Austin only from around March to November before momma & pup heads South for the winter)

  • Life span of up to 18 years

  • They return to the bridge at dawn, but do they all come back at once? Can any early risers comment?

Sources: Bat Conservation International (based in Austin), Organization for Bat Conservation, Bats in American Bridges, and image from Wikipedia

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

So, are we Meeting the Needs of Engineering Faculty, Researchers, and Students?

We are working hard and certainly trying to by analyzing collections & surveying users to make sure we have the "best fit" resources and services for our campuses.

Using Engineering Theses and Dissertations to Inform Collection-Development Decisions, Especially In Civil Engineering
Patricia Kirkwood, University of Arkansas, performed an analysis of Master of Science and Ph.D. projects to determine the percentage of items cited held by the library. She found that 85.7% of serial articles referenced were available at the university library. However, they held only 45% of the referenced books/monographs. Another finding: 1/3 of the citations of the civil engineering citations were incomplete or incorrect. Opportunity for instruction here.

This study helped her determine what additional resources the library should be considering for their collections. Kirkwood was surprised by the results, for the 3 Ph.D. dissertations that were analyzed, 64% of cited sources were grey literature (technical reports, standards, other non traditionally published materials). For the 22 MS theses, 33% of the referenced items were journal articles.

Kirkwood has been able to use this data to change their government depository profile. She’s added state level documents, such as transportation department publications, and cataloged specialized web resources and added them to library web guides. Also, she’s reviewing non-traditional publishers that were referenced and teaching new tools such as TRIS (Transportation Information Research Service, U.S. Department of Transportation) and TRB, Transportation Research Board, of the National Academies.

See also:
Materials Used by Master's Students in Engineering and Implications for Collection Development: A Citation Analysis by Virginia Kay Williams and Christine Lea Fletcher, Mississippi State University

As well her Kirkwood's other 2009 paper:

Library and Information Use Patterns by Engineering Faculty and Students
William Baer and Lisha Li, from Georgia Institute of Technology, conducted an online survey of Civil/Environmental and Mechanical Engineering students and faculty in order to determine their use of the library and information.
They found that the undergraduates come to the library at least once per week and for most faculty who responded, they visit at least once per month. Top reasons undergrads come to library: individual study, group study, check email, word processing.
For graduate students, top reasons are to access books and journals, followed by checking out books, individual study, attending class/seminar or use of printers.

Google effect: Baer and Li asked if “Google is sufficient” for their research needs and more undergrads agree with this statement, however graduate students tended to disagree. For use of information resources undergrads choose Google first, while grads report use of databases as their first choice for searching. Researchers asked students to choose “best databases.” They found that graduate students selected evenly choose both Web of Science and Compendex as their top choices followed by ScienceDirect then Google Scholar. Several other resources were included in their student, see their paper for additional details. The engineering faculty chose Compendex as their first stop for information.

Baer and Li asked students to report how well they feel they know the databases, ranging from expert to no-knowledge. Librarians will use this data to help create instruction for students, especially in areas the students are reporting “no-knowledge.” The training method preferred for both graduate and undergrad students is “online tutorials.”

Finally, researchers asked library users to comment on one thing they would like the library to improve, suggestions included to gain access to more ejournals, faster ILL, among others. Since the study they have implemented rapidILL document delivery service. Overall, more outreach is needed to promote library resources and services as well as training on various research tools.

Download their presentation (PPTX)

Changing Library Vendor Contracts: A Case Study in Acquiring Ebooks from an Online Book Vendor
Charlotte Erdmann, Purdue University, first described her mindset, to get the materials that best fit the users of Purdue library. She mentioned various research studies on ebook selection which can be found referenced in her paper. Erdmann analyzed usage data from ebook usage over multiple years in order to get the best selection for Purdue students and faculty.
Ebook advantages: convenience, full text searches, broader selection
Since March 2005, Purdue began bargaining for ebooks and initially chose, due to user preference, ProQuest Safari. With only two simultaneous users they had 1000s of turnaways so found funding to increase number of users. By the end of 2007, they went with a “slot plan” to purchase certain amount of titles, which Purdue staff base on the four most popular publishers that made sense to Purdue based on prior usage data. They also take faculty input on selections of titles.

Assessment of IL at Smith College: ABET, ACRL, & within First Year Engineering Course

Assessing Information Literacy In Engineering: Integrating A College-Wide Program With Abet-Driven Assessment
Donna Riley, Smith College, described how they formalized their information literacy program in fall 2003 and are moving towards an institutional-wide program that incorporates assessment of discipline-specific measures. At first they tapped into the first year writing intensive course. Their IL program has grown into a discipline-by-discipline curriculum-integrated approach based on ACRL information literacy standards and science and technology standards. Around 40% of the departments have developed department-specific IL outcomes already, others are working on theirs. They are now at phase two and collecting data to assess student learning. The engineering faculty wanted their outcomes to dovetail with ABET criteria so they have hybridized the ACRL/ABET. ILST performance indicators are highly detailed and ABET outcomes are broader so faculty needed to design an assessment plan that could work for both. The literature shows that each institution develops their own outcomes even though there have been some papers, including some within ASEE-ELD in past years that have dealt with alignment, or mapping ABET to ACRL standards.

At Smith, they decided to map their own standards with ABET/ACRL in various focus areas related to information literacy. First mentioned is lifelong learning which Smith has developed more detailed performance goals that are measurable. The second area of focus on is ethics as stated in ABET broadly as “an understanding of professional and ethic responsibility” which related to ACRL 4/ILST4. They developed their own outcome and again, performance criteria that embodies this. Communication is the third focus area Riley mentioned and showed specific performance criteria that includes “student exhibits clear writing style,” etc, see paper for details. The final area of focus for Smith Engineering is experimentation which does not map well with ABET so they added wording into their performance criteria “finding and using information” in addition to “data.”

Riley discussed how their use of e-portfolios allows for assessment of their performance indicators in the aforementioned categories. Student assessment also occurs within courses, for instance students produce final portfolio instead of taking a final exam in her course. At the program level, assessment occurs after sophomore year by review of the portfolio and later near graduation a panel of faculty review the e-portfolios. Possible evidence for IL: annotated bibliographies, ethics case analyses related to information, reports from design projects, and so on.

Riley thinks that ABET should revise 3(b) to include language that addresses need for information literacy and makes suggestions for how they could do this in their paper.

Riley followed up by presenting another paper, Integrating Information Literacy Into A First-Year Mass And Energy Balances Course, co-authored Smith College librarian Rocco Piccinino. Smith’s curriculum-integrated approach to IL is sequenced throughout students college career, however this paper focuses on one specific course, a first year second semester course which is required of all engineering majors. Course objectives include engineering calculations, mass/energy balances, as well as engineering ethics, and information literacy which revolves around a life cycle assessment project.

Riley assigned a reading and held discussion with her students prior to the library research session. The reading (Graham, L. and Metaxas, P.T. (2003). “Of course it’s true, I saw it on the Internet”: Critical thinking in the Internet era. Communications of the ACM 46 (5):70-75.) is about students’ performance on an information literacy test showed that they tend to be over confident in their research abilities. Riley felt this helped her students check their own over confidence. She also asked students to do a homework assignment to practice information retrieval and access, in addition incorporated a question on her mostly content-intensive mid-term exam about IL. She mentions the importance for faculty to integrate and reinforce IL skills but throughout the course. She has her students put skills into immediate practice and makes them accountable by ensuring students are using appropriate documentation, creating annotated bibliographies, and so on in an iterative way.

Assessment of student learning included various components. First, they used a one minute paper at the end of the session, which students rated learning experience as excellent or good, mentioned that highlights were learning about databases, navigating web site, full text icon, etc. but students did not mention the in-class group activity or evaluation of sources, so they may revise assessment to determine value of these components.

Second, Riley performed focus groups and of the 24 students invited, 9 participated in 2 sessions. She had three guiding questions not specifically related to information literacy and 4 of 9 mentioned information literacy and the value to their learning and at least one related IL to critical thinking.

Third, a course survey, or student self-assessment of initial course objectives, which showed that IL was on high end, though “it wasn’t most central it made an impression on them.”

Fourth, analysis of Student Work including homework, tests and projects showed from an initial quiz where students performed poorly on information literacy after research session and projects, students showed significant improvement. Still one of their biggest difficulties was determining holding for a journal with both online and print formats.

Riley feels factors contributing to student learning include:
- Librarian inclusion
- Reinforcement by faculty member
- Iteration
- Integration – accountability across coursework

This approach may be more resource intensive but authors recommend featuring and sharing faculty work in these areas, gaining faculty buy-in and creating incentives for participation. Most important is developing relationships to make this happen.

Annual Meeting Notes

There are a couple of related items which had interest and general conversation during the business meeting.

One of the items mentioned by our PIC IV chair, Noel Shultz, mentioned was the ASEE Statement on Sustainable Development Education, initially created in 1999. I has recently become part of the conversation within ASEE, and part of that process will include a review and revision of the existing statement. I have succeeded in locating the statement, it is included on the ASEE webpage and can be found here :

The other topic of interest and broader discussion was around ELD choosing to green our portion of the conference by supporting and promoting environmentally friendly practices. This would benefit the member of ELD, but will allow us to set an example and promote these practices to ASEE for larger implementation at the conference. This conversation has been happening in other library organizations and perhaps among university conference planning units. We would like to gather information and input from all of those people who interested helping. So if you would like work for and with the division in this capacity, let me know and I'll work to get a group started.

Some of the ideas generated on greening the conference are below:
* no handouts at sessions, link to e content on webpage
* member pledge for green practices during the conference
* an opt out option for no paper conference book
* get rid of the conference CD - the papers are all online
* green hotel options (those hotels that have greener practices)
* Local and green food options
* virtual conference options
* online / electronic session evaluations - no more paper!
* have convention center set the temperature higher (less AC)

Possibly partner with other divisions in ASEE for leading this effort. Good candidates may be the Environmental Engineering Division and the Energy Conversion and Conservation Division.

Additional resources:
EPA page on green meetings:

"Green" Hotels Association:

The list of ideas above will be sent to our PIC chair to provide her information to speak on at the Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday.

ASEE Austin Photos

Here's a link to my photos from yesterday: I do edit before posting (and remove at request). But there are some lovely moments captured -- enjoy!

Kris Fitzpatrick

ASEE Conference Blog

Here is the Link: ASEE Conference Blog
See highlights of our Sunday evening picnic at Stubbs BBQ Restaurant.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Add-ons, Toolbars, & Videos, Oh My

Academic Library Internet Information Provision Model: Using Toolbars And Web 2.0 Applications To Augment Subject Reference
E. Michael Wilson, Ohio University, proposed a new library internet provision model which is very complex and has many pathways for users to find information. He compares this model of information retrieval to a proposed Google Research Model: Google > Search > Results.

Staff at OU administered a University Technology Survey in 2008 which 17% of their students participated in to gather information from students. Results indicated that students almost 80% of students were interested in using a toolbar to access research tools. So, since Wilson is a programmer he created a browser toolbar add-in which allows users to get to library chat and wiki easily as well as to simplify their research process. The toolbar includes the ability to perform searches in many engineering research databases, the calalog, etc. Some databases “are bootstrapped through metalib” their multi-search tool in order to make it work students see results within the metalib interface. Wilson also created an engineering wiki which is where users can download the toolbar. They have had 210 installations of the toolbar since 2008, or a little more than 1/3 of the engineering population at OU. Wilson has built in a proxy check to determine whether or not users are on or off campus. This toolbar does require some maintenance of links, etc. but overall Wilson feels it’s a good use of time to develop a subject specific toolbar for researchers. His toolbar can be adapted for use by other libraries.

His model of the subject toolbar information provision model demonstrates a much more simpler method of information retrieval than the typical library web site:Search Toolbar > Search > ResultsWilson used to spend 35% of his instruction time teaching students how to locate resources, he’s been able to trim down this time by referring students and faculty to the toolbar.

Check out their EngrWIKI .

Pimp My Browser: Next-Generation Information Literacy Demands Control of the Browser
Andrew Wohrley from Auburn University Libraries discussed browser add-ins, which extend browser capabilities and may be open source so could be customizable. LibX, Zotero, and Google Translate have been adopted at AU Libraries. See their installation page for LibX which they've dubbed "Auburn Anywhere."

Wohrley also recommends Google Translate which is a free translation plug-in which supports most languages. Upon browsing the AU Libraries web site during the session, I found the folks at AU have linked from various flags on their home page Google translations of their portal. It’s not perfect he warns, but very useful nevertheless.

Finally, he suggests use of Zotero for open source citation management. Zotero supports various output styles, instant footnotes and bibliographies, instant downloading of citations and documents/articles.

FYI: It came up in Q&A that Zotero and EndNote may not play well together. You may need to turn off Zotero in order to use EndNote on a computer. People were interested in the variations and benefits of EndNote Web, EndNote, Zotero, and RefWorks, among other citation management tools. A new version of Zotero coming out may allow users to collaborate and store references remotely vs. on the computer they are using. For anyone actually paying attention, this would be a great paper topic for next year!

Online Tutorials in Engineering Libraries: Analysis And Discussion
Yue Xu from Mississippi State University Libraries described her research analyzing libraries using online tutorials. Benefits of tutorials include providing opportunity for self-paced learning, 24/7 access, releasing the challenges of staffing shortages, and they can also supplement classroom instruction. Xu’s research focuses on web-based instruction in engineering libraries in order to help librarians develop tutorials.

Characteristics of good tutorials, according to Nancy Dewald ‘s paper Transporting good library instruction practices into the web environment: An analysis of online tutorials include use of active learning, media, navigational aids. In addition, those that are course-related, collaborative, and offer instruction on concepts vs. mechanics are good practice. Xu compared ELD libraries to find out if they had online tutorials and the types of tutorials that were created for the engineering libraries. She found that 69% of engineering libraries provide online tutorials, she looked only at library’s web sites so some may not have been discovered due to inclusion within course management systems. Tutorial content included six categories ranging from information literacy, to advanced research skills or course related.Engineering subject categories covered included: specific engineering databases such as PubMed, Web of Science, etc. and topics included patents, standards & specifications, engineering web sources, and one was found on engineering staff training.

Active Learning Components: 15 libraries included features such as interactive quizzes and exercises within. Xu suggests librarians modify existing tutorials, increasing active learning, and adding games for instance to add engagement for tutorial users. She suggests checking out U of Louisville Libraries tutorial which incorporates a game.

BTW, I found while surfing during the session the interesting and kinda fun Library Squares Game on the U of L libraries site. Some librarians mention that they include their tutorials into YouTube and other university video streaming sites which gives you the benefit of grabbing embedded code to post these tutorials easily in various sites.

See also: Dewald, et al article on Information Literacy at a Distance and Hrycaj’s 2005 article Elements of active learning in the online tutorials of ARL members. Also, check out ANTS, Animated Tutorials Service and include your tutorials if you wish to share them for reuse.

Michael Wilson suggested that using “video help” and other terms instead of using the term "tutorial" on the library’s web site makes more sense to students, as they analyzed how users got to their video tutorials at OU.

All points are good ones: let's share and collaborate if possible to reuse tutorials and toolbars that will benefit our engineering library users.

From the New Engineering Librarians Perspective: Collaborations & Online Tutorials

Collaboration with faculty: What they don’t teach you in library school

Sarah Jane Dooley presented various strategies for connecting with faculty, from the perspective of a new librarian. Dooley suggests getting to know department faculty, familiarize yourself with subject area and specialties of faculty, as well as discipline specific resources and publishers. It’s important to consider varying interpersonal and communication strategies of the faculty you are working with. Don’t pass on any opportunity to attend social events on campus. This is great way to network with other faculty and meet future collaborators. Librarians must create their own opportunities to network by being visible on campus, taking every opportunity as it presents itself using both online and offline approaches.

Dooley recommends that the workplace should develop documentation for new librarians and be good role models. A mentoring program for new staff could help. Library School’s could include more education on best practices for networking outside the profession. In working with faculty, she suggests that technology presents interesting opportunities to collaborate, even allowing faculty to use libguides themselves and use of facebook for promotion. Contact Sara Jane Dooley at and for a copy of her handout which including the above strategies and more as well as a bibliography.

Continuing Library Instruction via Online Tutorials
Megan Tomeo, Arthur Lakes Library, Colorado School of Mines
Challenge: Librarians don’t get enough contact with students in order to help them develop their research skills.

Solution: Mini-grant from university to build online tutorials which are delivered through partnerships with a sophomore-level course (a continuation of their existing first year level instruction modules which CSM talked about at last year’s ASEE Annual Conference). Also, they collaborated with the senior level capstone sections.

Benefits: No space or face-time needed for virtual learning. Can be designed while at reference desk where they have installed Captivate to create the tutorials. CSM librarians created many modules with similar look and each incorporated at least one competency from CSM and integrated quizzes. In the future, they hope to enhance the tutorials with more interactivity.

Assessment: Tomeo administered a three-part survey, one portion was a self-assessment of student learning. The pre-survey was administered to help staff understand student recall from the first year research instruction. A post-survey later assessed learning within the sophomore/junior year. They used a control group and these students took the surveys but were not directed to use the online tutorials. Survey return rate was 52% but less than 30 pre- and post-pairs were ultimately useful for analyzing the pre- and post survey results.

Results: Test group improved scores by 13% but control group had a slight negative change. Tomeo feels the tutorials are impacting learning in a positive way. In 2007, at University of Washington, Whang, et al. study on evaluating student bibliographies could be another approach, but in the future she hopes to consider if given consent by students involved.
To view the tutorials connect to
After August 1, 2009: > Services > Library Instruction > Online Tutorials
Another point to ponder: students commented that they preferred the 50 minute session in-person with the librarians vs. the online tutorials.

Teaming with Possibilities: Working Together to Engage with Engineering Faculty and Students
Janet Fransen and Jon Jeffryes, Engineering Libraries, University of Minnesota
Fransen and Jeffryes both support hundreds of faculty in the school of engineering and more than 3000 students.

Overview of three engagement strategies:
1. Marketing

a. Have a web presence: they create a page for each librarian, news for each area (mechanical, biomedical) and uses flickr to find interesting photos/images to include.
b. Use social media: they created a twitter account (umsciref), they also suggest you search twitter for your library’s name to get the pulse, if any. They created a facebook page and import their twitter feed into fb, they have also used fb ads to promote their page.
c. Measure results: they use (cool and seemingly useful URL shortener) when they post URLs do they can collect data on number of clicks on the links you create (they created a spreadsheet using API to grab click stats)
d. Be present: visiting seminars on campus, etc.

2. Instruction
a. Course-based live: They work with senior level engineering courses and since there are more than 100 students they are looking into team teaching
b. Library workshop series: EndNote, Zotero, Engineering: find better information faster, etc. check their web site for more. They have also started recording and posting screen captures as a supplement. They are often team-taught and can create a dynamic atmosphere. They use Moodle pages for workshops and this can be a time saver for staff. Users can refer back to these pages for instruction and future self-help.
c. Course-based online: Jon built 90 unique course pages for each class (without asking first!) and this worked well for him.
d. Tutorials: they created one on patents

3. Scholarly Communication & Institutional Repository (UDC)
a. Posted professor’s papers and they provide the faculty member with statistics on downloads
b. IR gives librarians an opportunity to get out and talk with faculty and by viewing their publication listed they can determine whether or not they are a good candidate for including papers within their digital repository.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Three Rules for Great Presentations

Sunday June, 14, 2009 2-5pm
Lee Andrew Hilyer, University of Houston Libraries, author of
Presentations for Librarians: A Complete Guide to Creating Effective, Learner-Centered Presentations

Hilyer started by discussing learning theory. He mentioned that Dr. Richard Mayer, UC Santa Barbara, guru on multimedia learning, derives seven principles and most important is that people learn from words and pictures, not text alone. The human memory system involves multiple parts of the brain. Working memory (formerly know as "short term") has two channels for processing speech and visuals:

  1. Auditory: handles speech and has limited capacity
  2. Visual: Handles images, requires attention before our brains perceive

Bottom line: Our brains process both channels when attending presentations where speakers include both text and images. Text-filled slides that also have images get processed in the visual channel and then go into the auditory, therefore this is the central problem with PowerPoint. This cognitive overload doesn't lead to the best learning.

What is Learning? Knowledge is stored as networks of concepts, or schemas. Hilyer uses dogs as an example -- "pug" is a breed, its features, emotional aspects, whether they are cute or ugly, each represents a different schema.

Three Simple Rules for Presentations

  1. Say the words, present your evidence
  2. Show the pictures
  3. Text is for take-away

Aside: Hilyer, of course, uses images relevant to his points, as I blogger I have limited time to snip and include them, so check out his blog, which may have the visuals to make this point.

When developing presentations, don't jump right to PowerPoint, work in a notebook or word processor. PPT forces presenters to go directly to chunked information and you may miss the most important points. He also recommends presenters consider his three main points and to keep in mind that learning is individual, each person will learn differently depending on existing knowledge and schemas they've built. Give homework as learning often occurs elsewhere, not necessarily during a presentation.

Another interesting tip: People perceive from left to right, he suggests that speakers should stand on the left of the slides (from the audience point of view).

Assertion Evidence Slide Theory by Micheal Alley
Learn more about Alley's research by reading his book The Craft of Scientific Presentations: Critical Steps to Succeed and Critical Errors to Avoid (New York: Springer-Verlag, 2003).

See also Alley, Michael, and Kathryn A. Neeley, "Rethinking the Design of Presentation Slides: A Case for Sentence Headlines and Visual Evidence," Technical Communication, vol. 52, no. 4 (November 2005), pp. 417-426 and Alley's "Rethinking the Design of Presentation" (pdf).

Presenters using this approach make one point per slide with limited text and use a relevant graphic to reinforce the point. Hilyer suggests converting at least a few of your slides using this approach. Retention increases 55% if you include pictures in addition to words, this is known as "picture superiority effect." Use high quality and relevant images. Printout a few blank 3 PPT slide handouts and use to create your own storyboard, boxes for sketching image that matches your text.

Resources for Images

If you cannot find a relevant image, don't include one. You could possibly create an image yourself or use a flipchart to sketch a graphic to make your point. He also suggests using the "B" keyboard key while using PowerPoint to toggle screen to go blank, then step to center of screen to make your verbal point. Another librarian mentioned she puts "this slide was made intentionally blank." Sometimes using an printed handout of an article or other instructional materials and lead attendees through sections of text you wish to highlight or focus on. Wait 25 seconds after asking if there are any questions before moving on.

Hilyer also recommends the following books:
Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds
Beyond Bulletpoints by Flip Atkinson
slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations by Nancy Duarte
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott Mccloud

See also:
Multimedia Learning by Richard E Mayer
The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning by Richard E Mayer

Handouts or no handouts? His last point, text for takeaway, means that the audience should be taking the textual information with them for later use or learning. However, one librarian pointed out that her students don't take the handouts. As an alternative a few librarians mentioned they work with faculty to post online handouts, libguides or other materials electronically to the course site. Hilyer suggested the handouts need to have a value-add and relevance. Using screen shots or even creating virtual demonstration using Pointer, Jing, TechSmith SnagIt, etc. to highlight sections of a web page or features of a database may help add value to these documents.

Materials for the workshop published on his Presentations4Librarians blog (password: threeRules)

Contact Lee Andrew Hilyer at

Monday, June 8, 2009


Welcome one and all to the Completely Unofficial Early-Birds And Leftovers Line-up Squad, aka the CUEBALLS. The CUEBALLS were formed over a decade ago as an unofficial (just like the name says) group organizing optional ELD social activities for each year's ASEE conference. Only trouble is, for the last few years, that "group" has just been me, and I seem to get later and later each year with sending this out. This year is an all-time high (or is it low?) in lateness.

Here are the ground rules (they're pretty simple). Come join whatever you wish as long as it doesn't interfere with your other conference-related obligations. See, told you it was simple.

Saturday night

Meet in the lobby of the Hilton Austin (400 E. 4th Street) at 6:45 for a 7:00 p.m. departure in search of food and drink. I have a number of options re: possible locations, but have a number of opinions on what might be the best bet. More on that front as we get nearer the start of the conference. Oh, just fyi, my flight isn't due to arrive in Austin until about 5:35, so I might be cuttin' it close getting to the Hilton by 6:45 myself. If you're going to be getting in that evening and want to catch up with us (wherever the heck we are) just call my cell (email Mel for his cell #, I didn't really want to post it to the world).

For the beer aficionados among you, there are a number of pretty good options for micros (for later Saturday evening or elsewhen during the time we'll be in Austin) that are reasonably close to the convention center / hotels. Two among them are Maggie Mae's and the Ginger Man, but both have somewhat limited food options, making them perhaps good places to hit later in the evening, after a tasty meal elsewhere.


Sunday was all over the board - doing the trails got the most votes (5), but there was one biker, one jogger, and three hikers in that five-some. Bats got three votes, although that's not tied to Sunday specifically. As for museums, none got more than two votes (Mexic-Arte and LBJ), while three more got single votes (Austin Museum of Art, Harry Ransom Center, and the Texas State History Museum), and among those, some expressed interest in more than one museum, so even those numbers are in some cases partial votes. Based on those low numbers, I'm not going to try to organize anything specific for Sunday.

Mel put the biker/jogger/hikers in touch with each other, as well as the batty threesome. Amy VE is coordinating this, so if you want to join in, email her or reply to this post. If any of the rest of you are interested in either of those options, please let Mel know and he'll fold you into that communication string.

Not necessarily limited to Sunday

Congress Bridge bats (yep, bats, as in a bazillion and six of the little devils)

For those of you who want to get your road work in, there’s the Lady Bird Hike and Bike Trail (

For something a bit out of the ordinary (like if the bats weren't enough for you), for those of you who are familiar with Whole Foods – Austin has the mothership – at 80,000 sq ft it’s the largest Whole Foods store in the chain. It's so big and fancy they do tours.

Wednesday night

Blues on the Green 2009 (Waterloo Park - only about a nine block walk from the convention center)
Wednesday, June 17th, Cyril Neville (yep, one of the Neville Brothers)
Show (it's FREE, by the way) starts at 7:30, so plenty of time to get there after the last ELD conference session is over. Limited food options and non-alcoholic beverages will be available in the park.

For the non-blues crowd, meet at a pre-determined location (maybe the Austin Hilton lobby again) to venture out for a nice relaxing dinner with friend and colleagues. Still to be determined, more info once we're all in Austin.

ASEE conference approaches!

With less than a week until ASEE 2009 in Austin, the final details are being hammered out on what should be a wonderful conference for ELD members.

The schedule is available at

We have 25 papers for ELD, a record! They are spread out over seven technical sessions and the poster session.

On Sunday, there are two workshops sponsored or co-sponsored by ELD. At last count, 15 faculty and librarians were signed up for the morning workshop and 16 for the afternoon. There is still time to register on-site for either or both workshops. Fill out the fax registration form found online and bring it to the registration desk at the conference. Unfortunately, you will have to pay the on-site rate.

Our Directors, Linda Whang and Nancy Linden have been working hard on the Monday night Welcome Reception (at the McKinney Engineering Library at UT-Austin) and the Tuesday Night Annual Banquet (at the historic Driskill Hotel).

ELD thanks all the sponsors who help make the program possible. In addition to Knovel, Institute of Physics Publishing, IEEE, IET/Inspec, Morgan & Claypool, Ei/Elsevier, and ProQuest, ELD may be getting another sponsor this year.

Bob Heyer-Gray will be soliciting your ideas for ASEE 2010 in Louisville. Please take the time to let him know what topics you would like to see covered.

John Teleha
Eld Program Chair
Austin 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

ASEE ELD on Facebook

Please consider joining ELD's facebook global group ASEE/ELD which was recently created.
One more way of increasing ELD's visibility worldwide. SLA's Facebook group is very active which has (as of this writing) 1,780 members on the group. Networking is another advantage and also members can share blogs, interesting and useful sites, create and participate in discussions and much more. I have been able to stay in touch with a past ELD member (who had provided a lot of inspiration to me during my earlier years in ELD)through Facebook. A great feeling ineed!

Simply go to and search for ASEE/ELD group.