2015 Presentations


The 2015 Texas STEM Librarians’ Conference was held at UT Arlington Libraries on July 21-24, 2018.

Keynote Address:
Discovery of the God Particle and makings of dark matter beams

Speaker: Dr. Jaehoon Yu, Professor of Physics, University of Texas at Arlington
Abstract: Dr. Jaehoon Yu discusses the discovery of the Higgs particle at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Laboratory for Nuclear and Particle Physics Research (CERN) near Geneva, Switzerland. He will also cover the complex computing grid technology that has contributed significantly to the timely analysis of the data through communication, and the collaboration among scientists that arose from the data network.

How publishers and discovery service vendors are collaborating to reduce content gaps
Presenter: Jalyn Kelley, IEEE
Abstract: IEEE has partnered with four major discovery service providers to identify content gaps between the IEEE Xplore Digital Library and discovery service indexes. This lightning talk will illustrate content gaps, causes, and how IEEE and discovery service providers are collaborating to reduce the gaps.

University website placement for libraries and research ranking
Presenter: Jessica Simpson, Texas Tech University
Abstract: There are several famous quotes from individuals associated with successful universities that draw a correlation between the location of the library and its value to the institution. The digital age blurs the concept of location within universities and raises the question whether these sayings carry any merit in the modern era. In order to examine this, one way is establish a relationship with the research standing of an institution and the link that is used to access the library from the university website.

If there is a higher prominence of the URL for the link to the university library or libraries that correlates with the institution’s research standing, the importance of that library to the institution in terms of website location may be inferred. By examining the prominance, placement, and context of the institutions’ library hyperlinks that are classified as “highest research activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education we can decide if there is a correlation between the placement of the hyperlink to the library in prominance and the research caliber of the university.

A conceptual fromwork for the web architecture must be established. This includes the architecture of any given page, the type of menu that is employed, the number of clicks to get to the library or libraries landing page, and html page hierarchy that is in place. Preliminary findings have been established and evaluated. Significance has been established. Further research may include finding university level metrics and performing a regression analysis.

Library subject guides and STEM: Innovations in academic pathways
Presenters: Kent Seaver and Brittany Schick, Texas Tech University
Abstract: This presentation demonstrates how North Lake College’s Library uses Library Subject guides (Lib Guides) to prepare students for not only STEM majors, but also STEM careers, leading to student success. The proposal illustrates how academic and college libraries can use their trained staffs, as well as print and online resources, to assist faculty in the instructional delivery of classroom materials. This presentation will be PowerPoint driven (Q & A encouraged) illustrating how the North Lake College Library (NLCL) and STEM faculty work together to create Library Subject Guides (Lib Guides) for core subject areas, as well as specific classes.

Due to the explosion of Internet driven resources, not to mention the decreasing numbers of qualified STEM students and graduates, the need for accessible, current, and specific learning resources has changed the format and content of traditional STEM classes. Because of the need to provide the latest and most topical resources to both our faculty and students, the Learning Resources staff at North Lake College have created Library Subject Guides specific to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) courses offered at NLC to assist the faculty in the instructional delivery of classroom materials. The goal of this collaboration between Learning Resources and STEM faculty was to identify ways for the Library to reach more non-consumers, but also to highlight available and previously under published STEM resources that can be utilized for student success. Many times the faculty, who are required to focus so much attention on accountability via the Student Learning Outcome, are simply not aware of all of the additional resources that can be used to ensure their students are achieving the greatest possible success. This presentation allows for other STEM professionals to see how one college is collaborating effectively for the benefits of this important crop of students.

Combining outreach & liaison activities to build relationships with reluctant STEM faculty
Presenter: Isabel Altamirano, UT Tyler
Abstract: The previous three STEM librarians lasted only two years in the position, so when I joined the library in August 2013 and attempted to get to know the faculty, I was politely ignored. I tried various methods to address the situation but had to reassess during Summer 2014. I was also assigned to be on the Outreach Team. I decided to combine both my job functions to build relationships with the faculty. I will also discuss what I need to try next and how these methods can be adapted at other libraries.

Library Deans’ Panel Discussion
Moderator: Rebecca Bichel, Dean of Libraries, UT Arlington
Panelists: Dr. June Koelker, Dean of Libraries, Texas Christian University
Ellen Safley, Dean of Libraries, University of Texas at Dallas
Dr. Martin Halbert, Dean of Libraries, University of North Texas

MOOCs: A path to success or a good way to ruin your weekends?
Presenter: David E. Hubbard, Texas A&M University.
Abstract: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) came to prominence in 2012. This “disruptive technology” was hyped and expectations inflated, but then came disillusionment and now hopefully a more realistic view of their potential. This author believes MOOCs can provide a practical, inexpensive means of professional development for librarians. This presentation provides a brief overview of MOOCs, followed by the personal reflections of the author, a Science & Engineering Librarian, who has participated in MOOCs. Visualization software employed during a recent MOOC, which can be used to visualize bibliographic data from Web of Science, Scopus, MEDLINE, and other sources, will also be presented.

Free STEM e-textbooks: LSU Libraries’ initiative and its impact
Presenter: Emily Frank, Louisiana State University
Abstract: Louisiana State University Libraries recently launched an e-textbook initiative to provide students free access to required textbooks. Using course adoption title lists, the Libraries identifies required textbooks that are in existing e-book collections or available to purchase. All titles meet three essential criteria: are DRM-free, allow for an unlimited number of simultaneous users, and provide perpetual access. In the 2014-2015 academic year, the initiative has had the potential to save students $450,000.00. This has aligned the Libraries with strategic priorities of the university, including diminishing barriers to retention and reducing the escalating cost of higher education while ensuring access to materials critical for student success. This presentation will discuss how LSU Libraries established and deployed their e-textbook initiative, which includes selecting e-books, accessing and searching the bookstore’s required textbook lists, and developing promotional strategies to launch the initiative. It will cover project assessment and impact, highlighting STEM disciplines in particular, and ideas for expanding the reach of the program.

STEM-ulating minds: Facilitating a user-lead active learning environment with the FabLab ConFab
Presenters: Katie Musick Peery and Peace Ossom Williamson, University of Texas at Arlington
Abstract: The presenters will describe the project consultation created for the new learning environment arising in many libraries: the makerspace or fab lab. The UT Arlington FabLab is a space developed in October 2014 that provides open access to state of the art equipment and software in order to provide users with the opportunity to work with others while teaching them specific technical knowledge and professional skills. In order to assist users in developing their own projects, the FabLab managers have developed the ConFab, a process similar to a library research consultation, where users are engaged with an in-depth, exploratory conversation around what they want to execute. The ConFab is a way of achieving the overarching goal of the UTA FabLab: facilitating the education of UTA, local, and broader communities on how to think creatively, fail fast, and use new technology to transform their ideas into reality. For students, the incorporation of projects within the FabLab into their coursework allows them to steer their own learning experience and to collaborate across disciplines. When users of different areas of expertise are able to work side-by-side with one another, they build their knowledge base and create innovative products and solutions they may have never previously conceived of. Furthermore, the space provides an opportunity to create meaningful experiences—especially when applying their education to attempt a solution to a real-world problem—leading to skill-learning in a more lasting way. With the ConFab, the user is able to flesh out their undeveloped ideas and vision and to begin the work. The presenters will detail the specific format of questions and active listening strategies that often allow users to come to a solution organically and empowers them as they realize how much they already know.

Beyond bibliographic instruction: Science research workshops
Presenter: Christina Chan-Park, Baylor University
Abstract: Over the past three academic years, I have offered a series of Science Research Workshops that have gone beyond basic bibliographic instruction and database searching. Although these workshops are available to any undergraduate, graduate student, or faculty, the primary attendees are undergraduate students who are working on honors theses. The workshops are interactive so groups of 3-6 are ideal, but up to 8-12 can be accommodated. Topics include the Scientific Research Process, Data Management, Reading a Scientific Article, Writing a Scientific Abstract, and Creating a Scientific Poster Presentation. For the last three workshops, students are asked to bring a scientific article, an experiment proposal, and a data example, respectively. During the workshop, I give a short introduction to the structure of an article, abstract, or poster and then spend the bulk of the time guiding students through the process of reading, writing, or creating. As I lead the students through the different steps, we stop to share their progress with each other. Students like the interactive format because they can ask questions freely and because they see others having to work through the progress. After the workshop, students not only feel more confident in their research skills but also gain a better understanding of their own research project. I will present outlines of materials at these workshops in addition to insights I have gained on the popularity of the different types of workshops.

Research methods for STEM librarians: Perspectives from a narrative inquiry angle
Presenter: Innocent Awasom, Texas Tech University Libraries
Abstract: As Librarians, we are expected and required to conduct research so as to contribute to the advancement of the profession and the global knowledge base in Library, Archival, Museum and Information Science. A review of the research methodology used in the top ranking journals in Library and Information Science (LIS) research, shows a predominance of traditional descriptive qualitative research with surveys as the main data collection method. However, the ensuing results from this type of research and data usage merely tell just part of the whole story while a lot more useful information could be gleaned using other elements in a narrative inquiry methodology – ways in which humans experience the world, in this case, the Library and Information Sciences (LIS) world. Qualitative observational research describes and classifies various cultural, racial, and / or sociological groups by employing interpretive and naturalistic approaches. It is both observational and narrative in nature and relies less on the experimental elements normally associated with scientific research. Results from this study shows that a more holistic picture emerges when we utilize more ways of data collection (triangulation) and this certainly has far reaching implications on the quality of research carried out in the LIS profession. The beauty of narrative inquiry lies not only in the social construction of knowledge but also in our ability to present results in different genres such as fiction, poetry, performance art and art, providing more points for connection in order to reach a wider audience.

Data: Its rising importance in research, and where to find it
Presenter: Brad Gulliford, University of Texas at Arlington
Abstract: Data files are sought after by students, the informed public, and fellow researchers, no longer the exclusive property of the scientist or of interest only to the social science geek. Finding them isn’t routine yet. We will look at some “best bet” sites, data papers, and discipline-specific peculiarities to form our roadmaps.