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B Sides

Jim Kelly
University of Iowa
School of Library and Information Science
Poster Presentation Spring 2013
“With the Turn of a Wrench and the Click of a Mouse: A Case Study of the Online Learning Practices of HVAC Professionals and Homeowners”

This study examines the learning practices on display in several discussion forums on the site These forums are used by professionals in the HVAC industry to address, among other things, the problems and questions they encounter in their daily work lives; questions that range from technical matters such as water chemistry to more general topics like small business management. Homeowners also frequent the site contributing questions or concerns about their own heating systems as well as offering advice to others.
This project draws on theories and concepts from across the broad LIS spectrum. From the world of education and literacy theory, Brian Street (2001) uses the term “literacy practices” to describe “behavior and conceptualizations related to the use of reading and/or writing” (438). In a related vein, Kaestle (1985) writes of the varied uses of literacy across history and, with an eye to the future, notes the need for “research on the functions of printed matter among different reading publics” (45).
From the world of information science, Tuominen, Talja, and Savolainen (2005), in their brief overview of what they term a social constructionist view of information practices, note that: “Studying how information practices, actors, and technologies are constructed in discourse and conversation provides a broader sociological perspective for understanding information seeking and information technology use” (331).
Using the theoretical perspectives outlined above, this study looks at the rich and varied ways in which this online community’s participants interact via written exchanges (including text, diagrams, and photographs) and how these forums serve as a means to create useful knowledge and foster learning for all participants. 2014/03/28 - 20:21

This paper discusses file naming standards for the digitization of physical items and outlines the naming conventions used in the University of Iowa's Szathmary Collection. 2014/02/21 - 13:43

In our increasingly globalized world, the space of the public library is changing. This poster sheds light on and discusses two different sorts of negotiations of space and how they relate to the public library. The first is the concept of the low-intensive meeting place, in which people are exposed to ideas and values different from their own. The second is the idea of Third Space, where people encounter a culture and redefine themselves in relation to the discourse of the space. Taken together, these two models suggest how public library users relate to the space of the library and how librarians can understand and manage the construction of the symbolic library space to benefit the diverse communities that they serve. 2013/09/01 - 19:42 2013/08/18 - 11:04

In an age of shrinking budgets, tough decisions and political tensions, libraries must have a strong justification for LGBTQ youth services that is grounded in credible research if they are to stand up to challenges. My research examines why these services are essential in a world that is still unsafe for far too many queer identified youth, how to best engage with the community and what resources libraries can provide to young LGBTQ information seekers. Literacy and education theory were used as a foundation for the examination of the impact literacy has on the development of self through the formation of personal identity, the importance of mentors, and the opportunity for action. Current research about providing services to the LGBTQ community was examined for best practices and effective methods. The most important factors in successful services to the LGBTQ community are authentic and comfortable interactions, and the integration of queer and non/queer resources in reader’s advisory and reference response for all patrons. While statistics on bullying and homophobic remarks indicate that conditions are improving, LGBTQ teens are still at great risk for homelessness, depression and suicide. Libraries must do everything possible to provide a safe space for LGBTQ youth to build their identity and interact with the community. 2013/04/27 - 06:21

In a time when information expands at an exponential rate the idea that a university course could—or should—even approach comprehensive coverage of the resources in any field is unthinkable. Yet textbooks continue to be written with this approach of instruction. This article examines four texts in music library research instruction: A Guide to Library Research in Music by Pauline Shaw Bayne, Sourcebook for Research in Musicby Phillip D. Crabtree and Donald H. Foster, Music Library and Research Skills, by Jane Gottlieb and Music Research: A Handbook by Laurie J. Sampsel. Resources were analyzed based on their stated purpose, content and current applicability. The growing need for a new perspective on the instruction of library research skills that extends beyond the items themselves to the methods and strategies for information retrieval in a variety of contexts is proposed as an area for future examination. 2013/02/18 - 02:00

As we move beyond the third wave of feminism, some question the need for separate departments and degree programs focused on the study of women. This paper argues that Women’s Studies programs are necessary to the academy. This argument is made through a review of the literature on the history and development of Women’s Studies programs in order to examine the past, and a survey of the presence of Women’s Studies and LGBT programs in 159 colleges/universities in 2012 in an attempt to examine the present. The battle Women’s Studies has fought and continues to fight in order to assert itself as a valid field of study in the university, complicated by the struggle of establishing itself as an entirely new discipline rather than a branch of a larger one has resulted in an identity crisis surrounding issues of purpose and disciplinary canon. I argue that the biases and prejudices built into the structure of the university are still at play, and though they are subtler, they are no less insidious than before. Considering this structure is important for academic librarians who often work as liaisons for departments that each have internal and external structures and politics to navigate while working to provide the best possible service to faculty and students. 2012/11/30 - 10:25

Technology has changed the resources and the ways libraries do business. It has also changed the ways in which library patrons seek information. In order to build discussion around this topic the term Library 2.0 was coined. Library 2.0 is a term and theory in which many librarians have an opinion. Whether it is an opinion that embraces the idea or not, understanding the range of definitions and theories behind Library 2.0 is key to understanding where this concept diverges from traditional library services and/or simply having new technology available or used in the library space. This resource guide points to a wide range of voices that have shaped the discussion of the term Library 2.0. It encompasses the variety and depth of the subject and suggests new areas that have been left untapped by much of the current work available on the topic. 2012/11/10 - 17:11

Despite decades in the university, the state of the film studies discipline is still much contested. This paper aims to trace film studies—albeit in a limited manner—from the minuscule stirrings of the discipline to its current state of uncertainty. By evaluating the establishment of the discipline’s boundaries and their subsequent shifts, film studies is revealed to have been most unfortunate in its timing. Just as film studies could have emerged as a fully-fledged discipline, the university’s own definition shifted, from an institution centered on culture to one centered on excellence. This shift in the university left film studies struggling to contend with a new objective—one which lacked empathy toward disciplines that cannot bring wealth or status to the university. Thus, film studies became a phantom discipline and its future is uncertain. Film studies may either gain credibility and strength, or it may become broken up into so many fragmented pieces that film will either exit the university in a hushed moment of defeat or be absorbed into various disciplines in the form of topics classes as well as a tool to bolster discussion. If film studies wishes to remain within the university, its best option may be to gradually redefine itself. 2012/11/10 - 17:11

Digital research projects often seek out large-scale data sets but have a small budget to achieve them. In their pursuit of using technology to discover something new, some scholars have turned to crowdsourcing strategies, where the efforts of individual volunteers can contribute to collective, significant data outcomes. How can examples of successful crowdsourcing projects inform future digital research initiatives? By looking at current examples of digital research projects using crowdsourcing, this research proposes new models for amassing data through the assistance of engaged publics. Inspired by the problems posed by building a large-scale database of metadata from mid-20th century small-press ephemera, this inquiry explores what outreach strategies work for different kinds of projects and with which publics. This research performs a qualitative content analysis of more than thirty digital research initiatives that rely on crowdsourcing strategies to amass data. Through their project websites, the initiatives were coded to determine the factors that motivated contributors and the electronic interfaces employed for digital delivery. The models created from this research fall along a spectrum with minimal requirements for technology and programming capacity to deploy strategies at one end and sophisticated requirements at the other. Motivational factors discovered include competition and reward systems inspired by games, personal contributions to discovery and historical narratives, and the pure entertainment of interest-driven learning. By identifying strategies that can inform approaches to scaling up digital research initiatives, these models provide a guide for scholars with boundless ideas and limited budgets. 2012/09/28 - 06:06

This paper provides an exploratory look at Free and/or Open Source Software (FOSS) Integrated Library Systems (ILS) from both a philosophical as well as a practical perspective. Using critical technology theory, Small Is Beautiful-inspired economics, and the costs and benefits of practical implementation, this paper outlines a potential theoretical framework with which libraries could consider the adoption of such a system. 2012/07/23 - 16:13

While efforts have been made in recent years to improve library service to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) identified library users, these efforts have generally overlooked the particular needs of transgender communities. As LIS professionals, we are called to provide library service to all members of our communities, particularly those who have traditionally been marginalized. This bibliographic essay provides a look at the unique information needs and barriers to library service which library users who are trangender-identified commonly face, as well as those resources which can assist libraries in ensuring they are adequately meeting the needs of these communities. 2012/07/23 - 16:13

A survey of college level information literacy textbooks and instructional materials reveals a focus on context specific, skills-based lessons that introduce students to library-based, academic research. While this narrow focus can promote success within an academic context, it does not prepare students with transferrable skills. It fails to equip them with flexible concepts and definitions applicable to new media technologies and inventions (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, web development tools, etc.) and to many of students’ future professional activities and environments.
Through pedagogical inquiry and an analysis of information theory literature, a conceptual framework was developed that provides students a learning model that supports development of college specific information literacy skills, while also providing a framework for investigating the social construction and dynamics of information use in various information environments. Combining theories of information seeking (Dervin 2003 & Chatman 1996, 2001), information behavior modeling (Wilson 1999), situated learning (Lave and Wenger 1991), and the concept of semiotic domains (Gee 2003), this framework defines and situates concepts of ‘information resources,’ ‘information technologies,’ ‘information assumptions and beliefs,’ and ‘information actors and agents’ within socially constructed ‘information environments.’
Situating these concepts within an information environment prompts students to investigate the social construction of information resources, and encourages them to ask critical questions regarding structural constraints on information use and production. Understanding information use environments as socially constructed and using the concepts included in this framework, students can understand information use situationally, both within and without the college environment. 2011/08/31 - 17:17

Almost all information professionals agree that the web needs to move to a semantic structure. While work is proceeding in this area, movements to get individual web authors to use semantic markup tools have also been on the rise. This author argues that such efforts are ill conceived and he proposes an automated alternative. 2011/03/04 - 02:38

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) makes government information accessible to everyone, including libraries and library patrons. The Patriot Act has undermined the FOIA and put the freedom to read at risk. 2011/03/04 - 02:38

Open source software is not something to be afraid of! It's software that you can modify, fix, add to, and distribute to others. Benefits are numerous, including having the ability to create good software that works for you and your library, all while paying a fraction of the cost that you might spend on proprietary software. This website introduces librarians to using open source software and provides tips for implementing and evaluating your transition, ideas for funding, and suggestions for open source software to use in your library. Website can be viewed online at 2011/03/04 - 02:38

Dwelling in a "Borderland" between academic and narrative writing, and drawing from the work of Gloria Anzaldu'a, bell hooks, and Michel Foucault, this essay critically confronts and transgresses the disciplinary structure of information production, both inside the Academy and out. Scholars of Hip-Hop will be especially interested in the author's analysis of Hip-Hop as a scholarly discourse, and her argument that different genres of scholarly discourse, such as Hip-Hop and MLA-style English, can and indeed should be blended within the Academy to stimulate new ways of thinking. 2011/03/04 - 02:38

A bibliography for the general public and for print collection development by public and undergraduate academic libraries on the topics of Environment, Ecology, and Climate Change. Presented as a poster at the Florida Library Association 2010 convention. 2011/03/04 - 02:38

During the spring semester of 2010, as part of my graduate program in English Education, I took a class titled American Comic Book. I took what I learned there, turned around, and immediately applied it to my own teaching. I teach 7th grade language arts and developed a unit on understanding and creating comics, pulling from what I was learning in the class at the University of Iowa, and utilized some other resources including Great Source's Daybook of Critical Reading and Writing, and ideas from other books on using graphic novels as a teaching tool. The unit was taught during April and May of this year. I have collected my lesson plans, examples of student work, and much, much more on a website, 2011/03/04 - 02:38

This is a slide show from a presentation, "An Introduction to the Graphic Novel." The presentation covered the definition of a graphic novel, how to read a graphic novel, the history of graphic novels, and suggested further readings. 2011/03/04 - 02:38

The Environmental Sciences Program is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program at the University of Iowa. It includes faculty from the Departments of Anthropology, Geography, Biology, Geoscience, Chemistry, and Civil and Environmental Engineering. Students pursuing a BS in Environmental Sciences can pursue one of four tracks: Biosciences, Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, or Hydrosciences. The four tracks are very different, however there is some overlap with elective courses and there is a set of required foundations courses that all students must take. The interdisciplinary nature of any environmental science topic requires a student to have access to resources across many disciplines. This potential overlap in information needs lead to the decision to create one LibGuide for the Environmental Sciences Program. This guide will serve as a general guide to environmental resources for all of the students in the program. Future guides may be created that focus on resources for each of the four specific tracks in the Environmental Sciences Program. 2011/03/04 - 02:38

The unparalleled World Digital Library (WDL) was conceptualized by James H. Billington who proposed his idea to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO in 2005. Mr. Billington has been the Librarian of Congress since 1989 and has been a catalyst for many visionary projects including the American Memory Historical Collections and the National Digital Library Program. He has consistently been extraordinarily forward thinking particularly in regard to technology; since “the 1990s he recognized the potential of the Internet as a tool for peace by bringing together nations’ primary documents that tell the stories of the world’s people and their cultures” (Fineberg 154). His vision for how librarians and technology can come together to provide high-quality and accessible content for the world through the WDL is an inspiration that we all as librarians should strive for, whether it is on a local or global scale. This project, the World Digital Library, provides an excellent prototype to see how unique content, excellent design, and consistent metadata can come together to create a truly invaluable and forward thinking project for our world patrons that keeps consistent with our values as library professionals. 2011/03/04 - 02:38

This paper examines what it means to identify as a feminist in Western society and whether one can be a feminist while not explicitly stating this aspect of identity. The paper seeks to answer the age-old question (albeit modified slightly,) if it looks like feminist website, and sounds like a feminist website, is it a feminist website? There is much discussion and disagreement over what it means to be a feminist, with different conclusions being drawn by first-, second-, and third-generation members of the movement. Jezebel does not purport to be a feminist website. There is no mention of feminism anyway on the blog’s masthead or advertising page; however, at times there have been heated discussions on the site as to acceptable behavior by the blog’s editors and what it means to be a member of this online community. Through examination of the past posts, website and literature on the subject, the author determines that it is not necessary for the site to state its affiliation to the feminist position. The site has become a feminist website due to the positions taken by its community members and editors on women’s issues and will remain so as long as the members of this online community choose to affiliate with both the site and identify with feminist values. Community member define the sites with which they choose to associate. 2011/03/04 - 02:38

The increased use of the Internet for research, as well as the desire to preserve information, has necessitated the digitization of library materials. This paper seeks to draw a comparison between the challenges of microfilming and digitizing, and what can be learned from previous formatting efforts to reduce data loss during current endeavors. 2011/03/04 - 02:38

The term "career help" can encompass many things, including resume/cover letter workshops, online resources, courses taught by librarians or job fairs at the library. As of 2010, many libraries are engaging in one or more of these avenues, responding to an information need. This site seeks to give practicing librarians resources on why the library might want to get involved, examples of successful programs, avenues of funding and evaluation strategies. Although teens and young adults may also benefit from career services at the library, this website focuses on resources for adults.

Link to Full Text: 2011/03/04 - 02:38

Unseen version of my poster for graduation from the University of Iowa's SLIS program. 2011/03/04 - 02:38

This LibGuide was created to supplement and reinforce concepts taught in the course “Information Handling.” Information Handling is a freshman level course that introduces students to basic information literacy concepts such as understanding a university library, formulating a research topic, choosing and evaluating scholarly sources and understanding information ethics like plagiarism, copyright and open access publishing. 2011/03/04 - 02:38

In this paper we explore the possibility of creating and implementing an interactive library OPAC interface, called Reading Rants!, that would be designed for and used exclusively by teens. An interactive interface such as Reading Rants! would allow teenagers to interact with their library catalog by contributing content to bibliographic records. Content creation is an integral aspect of the Web 2.0 experience; it transforms the user's experience with the catalog into a dynamic conversation. By providing this highly valued service for teenagers, public libraries would elevate their worth to future library supporters and become more essential to and embedded in the community. 2011/03/04 - 02:38

This article takes a close look at teenage education and development with the intent of discovering ways in which public libraries can be of better service to a currently underserved population. The research in the area of literacy and learning reveals that over time adults and educators have begun to expect teens to develop a certain skill set. While helping teens to develop skills is of great importance, some expectations are unnecessary and potentially very damaging. Educational theory relates that the educational mold in the United States, while helping many, is not right for all people and a number of the ways teenagers learn (their intelligences) are not being catered to. Here public libraries have a distinct advantage and opportunity to fill some of the gaps. The research in adolescent brain development is also analyzed to the benefit of better understanding the teenage population. This increased understanding can help Young Adult Services Librarians cater their collections and programming to better suit and assist the teens being served. 2011/03/04 - 02:38

"Flora and Fauna in the Folio of a 14th Century Psalm" explores an illuminated folio owned by the University of Iowa's Special Collections & Archives. 2011/03/04 - 02:38