LIS 620 Summer 2017 Showcase

Public Libraries

Presenter: Nat Barmore

Practicum Location: Rochester, MN, Public Library

How do you present information literacy about news sources for a public library audience?
I put together a presentation using “fake news” as the hook to teach about information literacy related to news sources. From my research, there are a number of competing methods for teaching this, some from the journalism world and some from the academic world. I synthesized the two approaches and put on a successful program with light attendance. I focused on identifying good sources, rather than identifying bad, as a better way to understand the priorities when doing this. My preliminary conclusion is that this is a very difficult subject to tackle in a reasonable timeframe, particularly for a general audience. But I think it is possible, provided you limit your focus. To really do the topic justice would require a series of presentations on related subjects.

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Presenter: Marykaye Barnes

Practicum Location:  Waverly Public Library in Waverly, Iowa

During my practicum at Waverly Public Library in Waverly, Iowa I was able to participate in the Summer Lunch Program. This needs based program is a form of outreach and community engagement that provides nutritious meals and activities. I was tasked with helping create activities for 10 to 30 kids, age 2 to age 14, every Wednesday during lunch. The biggest challenge was providing activities to engage children of multiple ages. I found that more research needs to be done in selecting stories for storytime to engage a wide range of ages at once. I also learned that this group of youth was most engaged with hands on activities that allow them to create and learn at the same time.

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Presenter: Lisa DaSilva

Practicum Location: Black Hills Library Consortium, South Dakota

The 11 member libraries of the Black Hills Library Consortium (BHLC) typically communicate and share organizational documents using email, which results in lost or missed information and makes retrieval difficult as time passes. Is there an easier way to communicate or collaborate? I researched free communication and collaboration tools to see what would best meet the needs of the BHLC. My research also looked at best practices when implementing and using asynchronous communication tools in order to recommend a solution to the BHLC’s communication problems.

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Presenter: Alyssa Lennander

Practicum Location: St. Cloud Public Library in St. Cloud, MN

For my practicum, I was at the St. Cloud Public Library in St. Cloud, MN, where I conducted a user survey to determine how people were using the library space. After counting the number of people doing a certain activity in the library, like browsing or using computers, and inputting the data into a spreadsheet, I determined using technology of all kinds was the busiest activity. This coincides with national trends in public libraries as well. The St. Cloud Public Library may use these findings as they wish, such as program timing and staffing the reference desk.

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Presenter: Rachel Hanson

Practicum Location: Public Libraries, Madison, WI

The Bubbler is an art-focused maker programming model at Madison Public Library’s Central location and nine neighborhood libraries.  The Bubbler creates hands-on learning experiences that connect artists to the greater Madison community.  During my practicum, I considered how this specific program model furthers the more broadly understood work of libraries.  My research will focus on the ways in which The Bubbler’s art-focused maker program contributes to the American Library Association’s desired areas of impact, including lifelong learning, increased access to information, and literacy.  To address these aims, I created a Teaching Artist Database of art educators in Madison.  This resource can be used by librarians, schools, and the general public to plan educational art experiences that develop literacy and provide opportunity for lifelong learning.

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Presenter: Claire Kinder-Tidwell

Practicum Location: Lake Geneva Public Library

I am finding in my practicum that now libraries have been shifting in status from a depository of knowledge to a site for community engagement, making programming more important than ever. However it does raise the question: With more diverse populations entering libraries for entertainment how do limited staff libraries keep up with the demand for programming? There are so many ideas that a single librarian cannot think of all of it by themselves. I have found a solution: By connecting, using others ideas and revamping tried and true programs, the community’s needs can be met and the librarian’s sanity kept in check.

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Presenter: Jenny Morrow

Practicum Location: Wells Public Library, Wells, Maine

Readers’ Advisory is an integral service in public libraries. Due to librarians’ desire to regain a personal connection with patrons, Readers’ Advisory services have experienced a resurgence in recent years. I asked the research question “How does the Wells Public Library (Wells, Maine) incorporate more Readers’ Advisory services into their Children’s department?” During my practicum, I incorporated two types of one-on-one Readers’ advisory service into the Children’s department. Through these transactions, I learned more about how to conduct Readers’ Advisory services in a public library, while also learning about patrons on a personal level.

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Presenter: Jennifer Pavlik

Practicum Location: Waunakee Public Library, Waunakee, Wisconsin

The Waunakee Public Library struggles with teen participation in library programming and overall usage. For my practicum, I focused on teen services and developing programming, specifically a Teen Advisory Council, to increase teen participation by giving the teens in the community a voice in library. Teen Advisory Councils provide value for both libraries and teens within a community when done well. To create a healthy advisory council, my paper addresses the best practices in establishing and maintaining a teen advisory council that I utilized to guide my implementation of the program and support the Youth Services Librarian as she assumes responsibility for the future growth and development of the Teen Advisory Council.

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Presenter: Samantha Plessel

Practicum Location: Willmar Public library, West Central Minnesota

The Willmar Public library is located in the largest populated city of west central Minnesota. As part of my practicum, I created and implemented a program for the teens. My research question going into this project is how to be able to enrich and engage teens through programming. For my project, with the help of the teens, we decided to do a program which taught them how to open an Etsy shop and create and sell crafts. Through my research and project, I discovered that encouraging teens to lead, using STEAM activities, listening to their ideas, and training staff members are all great ways to get teens learning and growing from a program.

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Presenter: Bailey Rewoldt

Practicum Location: McHenry Public Library, McHenry, IL

Programming is an integral part of any public library. The ability to tailor the programs offered to the needs and interests of the community is essential to proving the value of the library.  How can a public library assess the needs of their community and form community partnerships to create programs that fill those needs and interests? While I was at McHenry Public Library, in McHenry Illinois, I assisted with two different recurring programs that relied on community partnerships.  I researched different methods other libraries used to build strong ties to their communities. The conclusion is to continually assess the success of programs and to assess the interests and needs of the community by staff interacting with groups outside and inside of the library.

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Presenter: Megan Smith

Practicum Location: Portage County Public Library, Stevens Point, WI

We are living in a time where information is in abundance and individuals are utilizing everchanging technology on a continuous basis.  Since devices and platforms change often, this paper explores whether youth services librarians should devote their timeand resources to offering programs about technology.  Currently, the Madison Public Library –Alicia Ashman branch, located in Madison, Wisconsin’s far west side, has made this type of programming a large focus within the children’s department, regardlessof potential disadvantages.  Instead, they have chosen to encourage children to become technologically literate and to develop their passions in a relevant and meaningful way, all while strengthening their twenty-first century skills.

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Presenter: Katie Stilp

Practicum Location: Appleton Public Library in Appleton, WI

This summer, I completed my practicum at Appleton Public Library in Appleton, Wisconsin, where I worked on digitizing and indexing local history and genealogy materials for use in library-created databases. Some collections I worked with included obituaries, plat maps, histories of local businesses and school directories. This presentation gives a brief overview of APL’s databases, and examines some advantages and challenges in digitizing and indexing local history and genealogy collections.

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 Academic Libraries


Presenter: Brian Farrell

Practicum Location: Michigan State University Library in East Lansing, MI

At Michigan State University Library in East Lansing, MI, I’m helping the Digital Library Team transition their digital collections into their unified repository platform at The bulk of my work was with the Michigan State Supreme Court Historical Society oral interview collection: 16 interviews across 29 audio files along with 15 transcripts.

My research was based around the question of: “how do we best present audio collections online?” The library uses Islandora as its repository backbone and I researched their reasoning for choosing it and found that its basis on Fedora Commons and Drupal provided extensibility and heavy customization. The Islandora Oral History module provided tools to aptly display the collection. The universities of Maryland and Hawaii provided resources for best practices for online audio collections.

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Presenter: Sarah Hernandez

Practicum Location: CDA Triangle in Madison, Wisconsin

My practicum was at the CDA Triangle in Madison, Wisconsin. For this project I looked at the questions: Why are we not seeing more LIS students in non-traditional library spaces like non-profit organizations and non-profit social organizations? How do we ensure a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in LIS programs? After considering a multitude of factors, I suggest that cultural competency training be mandatory for all LIS students. This should spark an acknowledgement of privilege leading us to question and work to change established norms in the field. And finally, I propose that interdisciplinary classes be offered more regularly so as to better expose future librarians to fields that have historically and are currently doing work surrounding diversity and inclusion.

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Presenter: Kathryn Sopa

Practicum Location: Digital Arts, Sciences and Humanities (DASH) program at University of Minnesota Libraries

Academic libraries are important hubs for digital scholarship. As faculty and students find it necessary to incorporate technology trends into their research and coursework, they are often unable to navigate the technical rigors of the tools. As a result, academic libraries are becoming curators of digital tools and collaborators in technology training. Through my practicum with Digital Arts Sciences, & Humanities (DASH) at the University of Minnesota Libraries, I have explored some ways in which a large academic institution develops and promotes a digital scholarship program, and have learned the significant roles communication and collaboration play in digital scholarship.

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Presenter: Andrea Tomlinson

Practicum Location: UW Madison, College Library, Madison, WI

The UW Madison College Library is currently discussing changing the staffing model used for reference services; specifically, no longer using professional librarians to staff the reference desk. This proposed staffing change began due to a decrease in reference questions and an increase in directional questions being asked at the reference desk. Therefore, the idea to utilize nonprofessional librarians is to enable professional librarians more time for other duties. However, there are concerns over using this new model and therefore, my research is looking into different staffing models utilized by academic libraries and their assessment of these models. From published researched, it appears that different staffing models can be successful, however the success is often contingent on additional factors, such as the hiring and training.

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Presenter: Courtney Becks

Practicum Location: iSchool, UW Madison, Madison, WI

A book display practicum project piqued my interest in quantification of African American Studies collections. Realizing that knowledge of and facility with such collections would be crucial to my success as an African American Studies Librarian, I set about gathering preliminary figures for the institutions whose African American Studies PhD programs are arguably the best in the U.S. A great deal more work needs to be done to address the gap in LIS literature on the subject of African American Studies.



Presenter: Ellen Faletti

Practicum Location: Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison

My practicum site is the Chazen Museum of Art located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My site supervisor is the Chazen’s Collections Registrar, Andrea Selbig, and one of the projects I have been working on is a provenance research data entry project. Researching provenance can be very overwhelming and time consuming. Can an instructional guide be created for researching provenance efficiently and effectively? While a step-by-step “how-to” guide is not realistic, I was able to create a document providing guidelines for researching provenance for the data entry project, as well as listing additional resources available online and at the Kohler Art Library.

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Presenter: Matthew MICKELSON

Practicum Location: Wisconsin Veterans Museum, Madison, Wisconsin

I completed my LIS 620 practicum at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, located at 30 W Mifflin Street in Madison, Wisconsin. One of the projects I worked on involved the cataloging of oral history interviews conducted with Wisconsin veterans on OCLC using MARC 21 standards. A discussion is currently taking place about whether or not to catalog the interviews using RDA standards. I chose to base my research question on this and decided to ask what standard is better when it comes to cataloging oral history interviews, MARC 21 or RDA. Though I’m still conducting research, my initial findings have shown that it really depends on the institution and the decision of the information professionals to use either MARC 21 or RDA for cataloging purposes.

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Presenter: Zachary Fannin

Practicum Location: Wisconsin Veterans Museum, Madison, Wisconsin

For my research question during my time at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, I looked into the problematic nature of oral history description standardization. Specifically, I am interested in the challenges oral histories pose for standardized metadata creation and management. There are several properties of oral histories that present metadata librarians with unique problems, including the selection and consistent implementation of a metadata scheme (or cross section of schemes). Such properties call for a closer look at how to more efficiently describe oral histories to ease their access. The plethora of data found in oral histories generates a complicated set of objects. Identifying a basic unit of oral histories is itself problematic (Should it be a single interview? A set of interviews? Should a group interview be reducible to a set of individual interviews?). Metadata plays a crucial role in addressing such questions, but determining a metadata standard itself must come first to provide institutions with a method of effective identification, description, and curation.



Presenter: Allie Look

Practicum Location: Wisconsin Historical Society

The shifting landscape of digital records has created complicated problems for records archivists and local governments.  Records archivists are finding themselves unsure of the format or condition of records they may receive from a government official.  Meanwhile, local governments are doing their best to keep their records safe and accessible often without the technical knowledge needed to do so.  In order to address this problem, the Wisconsin Historical Society undertook a fact-finding mission to assess the practicalities of the situation and determine their next move.

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Presenter: Emma Russo-Savage

Practicum Location: Watkinson Rare Books Library and College Archive, Hartford, Connecticut

This presentation was inspired by a practicum completed at the Watkinson Rare Books Library and College Archive, located at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. This presentation focuses on remote storage in academic libraries and archives, and decisions are made regarding off-site storage when on-site space is at a premium. The primary research question focused on what qualifications Trinity College archive should use to evaluate and select collections for off-site storage. Additionally, there was interest in how these decisions might affect library users, including potential negative impacts to the usability and searchability of collections when stored off-site. Ultimately, the researcher hoped to determine a selection method that would create a balance between off-site storage and effective user access to the archival records.

While the research paper is still on-going, solutions for Trinity College’s archive became quite clear once research questions over the last four months (two summer months and two academic months) were assessed. The majority of research questions focused on personal papers, or items and records related to an individual. For those questions related to operation papers, the archivist was almost always able to look at the materials and answer the researcher’s questions by email. This indicated that only the personal files typically required a researcher’s physical presence on-site. Due to this stark breakdown, Trinity College archive was able to comfortably prioritize keeping “personal” collections on-site, while moving some operational collections off-site. More processing work will likely be needed, to give these off-site collections a larger digital presence. Nonetheless, a plan was created and implemented with some success, and will serve as a baseline going forward.

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 Other Information Agencies


Presenter: Kyle Neill

Practicum Location: Circus World. Baraboo, WI

The Robert L. Parkinson Library and Research Center at Circus World is the World’s foremost circus research facility. This poster presentation explores the most effective means by which to process Circus World’s collection of circus couriers. The examination concludes that the step-by-step process of converting existing catalogs from physical to digital, digitizing couriers, editing digital surrogates, providing online public access, and creating workflow tutorials for project successors altogether made the most effective procedure for processing this collection.

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Practicum Location: Information Services department

This summer I have been working at American Family Insurance.  I have been working in the Information Services department on the Information Standards, Governance, and Quality team working on data management.  On my team we are tasked with maintaining the many tools we have related to data management and data stewardship.  At the beginning of the summer we started a project to create a user friendly portal for our main data repository, Metacenter.

What are the pros and cons of e-learning in a corporate environment?  I found many pros, centering around 24/7 access and ease of access.  They were about the benefits of being able to learn on their own time and being able to pick and choose the content they wanted to focus on.  There were also a few cons, mainly on the technical abilities of certain users and the “selling” of this type of learning to those who prefer face to face interactions.

After researching this topic and seeing how it has played out at American Family Insurance, I believe the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to e-learning in a corporate environment.  In this particular setting employees are coming in with different backgrounds and skill sets, as well as working different schedules.  So, being able to work things out on their own time and at their own pace seems to be the most beneficial approach in a corporate environment like American Family Insurance.

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Presenter: Crystal Willer

Practicum Location: Robert L. Parkinson Library, Baraboo, Wisconsin

The Robert L. Parkinson Library & Research Center is the library and archive for Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The archive’s holdings are cataloged in PastPerfect, a museum collections software, which doesn’t allow online access to audio files. Given this limitation of PastPerfect, what is the best way to provide online access to Circus World’s oral history audio recordings? I created individual and navigation pages using Weebly, uploaded audio and transcript files, digitized and uploaded photographs, researched and wrote short biographies and photo captions, and created linked records in PastPerfect. Creating Weebly pages that are linked to PastPerfect catalog records allows Circus World to provide online access to, as well as meaningful context for, these oral history recordings.

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Practicum Location: University of Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association(WFAA), Madison, WI

The University of Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association (WFAA), and its Research Department are undertaking a data cleanup project, to extract prior constituent information and documentation and move it into a new location in the Advancing Badger Engagement (ABE) database. This is a large data cleanup project (over 6,000 documents) that will be ongoing. Therefore, what are the benefits of documenting biographical information in ABE, and how can we best document the processes and workflows of transferring this data? ABE has been a tremendous tool in addressing this question, by allowing the research team to effectively transfer, standardize, and ensure the health of the data. Microsoft Office Products (Word, OneNote) have also allowed for effective long-term documentation of the process.

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Presenter: Carrie Portz

Practicum Location: WiLS, Madison, WI

I sought to discover the best approach to strategic planning for libraries, to support both my work with WiLS, and my own library’s efforts at improving service to the community. WiLS is anon-profit membership organization that supports the work of libraries, primarily in Wisconsin;strategic planning for libraries is one of their primary strengths and services. A preliminary literature review indicates that a clear vision, ambitious goals, and the creation of synergy with stakeholders will help to strengthen the library brand and develop a more effective strategic plan. Measureable goals and objectives with realistic implementation time frames are also important. One study indicates 61% of libraries’ strategic plans are insufficient (Buchanan &Cousins, 2012) and hence, the topic merits more research.

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Presenter: Hannah White

Practicum Location: Filene Research Institute, Madison, WI

My name is Hannah White and I completed my practicum in the summer of 2017 at Filene Research Institute, a small non-profit think-tank for credit unions in Madison, Wisconsin. My research question was: What are the best practices for creating a controlled vocabulary for an institution such as Filene, a fast-paced, non-university,research institute?From my research, my conclusions were that yes, Filene does need to implement a controlled vocabulary rather than the folksonomy they are currently using. The new controlled vocabulary should be simple, with a flat hierarchy and easy-to-maintain. A user-centered approach should be used in creating the vocabulary, specifically using search logs to generate subject keywords.

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