Students, Alumnae, and Faculty to Share Latest Innovations and Expertise at Library 2.015 Worldwide Virtual Conference


Students, alumnae and faculty members will present on library technology, the role of the learning commons, and information visualization models during the free and online Library 2.015 conference, scheduled for October 20, 2015.

The date is set, proposals are accepted, and presentations are being prepared as the fifth annual Library 2.015 Worldwide Virtual Conference draws near. On October 20, 2015, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, the free conference for library and information science students and professionals will be presented online via Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing.

Founded by Dr. Sandra Hirsh of the San José State University (SJSU) School of Information (iSchool) and Steve Hargadon of The Learning Revolution, the international conference is an inclusive event with the goal of creating open dialogue about the future of libraries. Among the much-anticipated sessions planned for the Library 2.015 conference are several by iSchool students, faculty, and alumnae on a number of high-interest topics such as library technology, the role of the learning commons, information visualization models, and much more.

Dr. David Loertscher, an iSchool professor who teaches courses in the school’s Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program, will be presenting during two different sessions, each addressing ways that school libraries can use the technology of the learning commons. The session, “Discovery Learning in the Library Learning Commons,” which Loertscher will present with current iSchool student Robyn Richardson and other students in his INFO 250 Design and Implementation of Instructional Strategies for Information Professionals course, will discuss the ways that educators can use the virtual learning commons as a space “where patrons can find a plethora of ideas, tools, and ‘apps’ that lead them into the world of creativity and invention.” The learning commons templates presented in the session were created by graduate students in Loertscher’s course so that school library websites could become places for students to work together on creative projects.

Along with library consultant Carol Koechlin, Loertscher will also be discussing how the learning commons can be used for both discovery and project-based learning in the session titled, “Responsive Dynamics of the Learning Commons: Discovery and Project Learning.” The goal of the presentation is to show how “discovery and project learning can operate simultaneously providing autonomy to learners as designers of their own learning” in the learning commons environment.

The educational possibilities of the school or community library is also the subject of the presentation by iSchool alumnae Christina Kantzavelos (MLIS 2015) and Heidi Jakal (MLIS 2013) and current graduate students Hope Hills and Manny Navarro, who will be discussing a Librarians Without Borders project to build a community library in partnership with the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. The presenters will discuss the solutions they came up with to address the challenges facing the community library project in their session, “The Asturias Community Library.”

Dr. Lili Luo, iSchool associate professor, will be presenting her latest research on professional practice in a session titled “Consumer Health Reference Interview: Best Practices.” The presentation will discuss the barriers faced by librarians trying to assist patrons seeking health information, and will share the results of a qualitative survey study designed to elicit information about the best ways to conduct a successful consumer health reference review.

Another iSchool faculty member, Dr. Virginia Tucker, will be presenting a session devoted to demonstrating how research informs current professional practice. Tucker’s presentation, “Professional Searchers Today: Leadership Roles in Design and Information Experience,” draws on her recent research on the information experience of expert searchers and will explore “how LIS professionals are taking on new roles in information retrieval system design and in how users experience search.”

The hot topic of information visualization is the subject of Dr. Michelle Chen’s session, “Improving the Analysis of Large Digital Collections: A Topic-Based Visualization Model for Better Information Access and Retrieval.” Chen, iSchool assistant professor, will present research on a new information visualization model that “allows users to view digital documents at a semantic level through topic modeling, while at the same time being able to visualize the relationships between those documents more clearly.”

Catherine Moffat-Bush and iSchool alumna Aryn Dagirmanjian (MLIS 2014) will be discussing how librarians can help non-profit organizations achieve their fundraising goals in their session “Building Stronger Communities: Connecting Your Library and the Nonprofit World.” Moffat-Bush and Dagirmanjian will talk about their own experiences working with communities and professional networks to help local non-profits.

Building upon the talk she gave at the Library 2.015 Spring Summit in April on “How to Stay Up to Date with Technology,” iSchool alumna Tina Jagerson (MLIS 2015) will continue the conversation with her presentation titled “Becoming Your Library’s Technology Futurist.” She plans to share an extensive resource list with attendees, and will also discuss technological forecasting, the role of “futurists” in different fields, strategies for creating technology plans, and where to find new technologies.

A time-zone adjusted schedule and detailed information on all accepted proposals is available on the conference website. In addition to the 50 sessions already proposed and accepted, the conference will feature keynote addresses by Hirsh, Toby Greenwalt, and Dr. Norm Jacknis. Dr. Michael Stephens, iSchool assistant professor, will join Dr. Joyce Valenza and Dr. David Weinberger as distinguished speakers for the free virtual conference.