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Friday, April 1st
9:25 AM

Aligning Graduate Student Training and Work: Emory’s Digital Scholarship Internship Program

Alan G. Pike, Emory University

Room 462

9:25 AM - 10:15 AM

While graduate student employment in libraries is nothing new, not every student job in the library is created equally. What would it mean for us to structure graduate student employment with an eye toward professional goals of students while also integrating them into day to day operations? This presentation will discuss how the Digital Scholarship Internship Program, a pilot program for graduate students in the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship, part of the Libraries and Information Technology Division of the Robert W. Woodruff Library, might serve as a model for training and professional development for graduate students working with librarians and IT professionals. The program, which employs 25–30 graduate students working around 10 hours per week, trains students from multiple disciplines in the tools and methods associated with digital scholarship and gives them opportunities to work with faculty, staff, and students on digital projects. The program provides future faculty members and those pursuing alternative academic careers the skills to blend library and IT resources in support 21st century scholarship.

This presentation will detail how graduate student employment in the center is structured, with three different tiers allowing for increasing specialization and responsibility for the provision of services, development of programming, and delivery of project work. Students in the program earn digital badges as they begin their training in the program, and earn additional badges as they acquire new specialized skills and digital methods. This presentation will discuss how this model benefits students, and how student success contributes to organizational effectiveness.

Developing a Comprehensive Suite of Graduate-Level Research Support

Wendy Doucette, East Tennessee State University

Room 400

9:25 AM - 10:15 AM

Graduate students are the largest-growing group at East Tennessee State University. While it is easy to assume that graduates have mastered the basics of searching and conducting research, this assumption is largely unfounded. Whether they did learn these skills as undergraduates or not, graduates are rarely prepared for the project management challenge of undertaking the biggest research assignment of their lives. Graduate students often have additional stressors not faced by undergraduates: established careers, families, and greater financial responsibilities.

Conceived during Summer 2015 and rolled out as an ongoing series in Fall 2015, the Graduate Student Workshops offered by the Sherrod Library provide instruction in the following areas: scholarly research, papers, and publishing; comprehensive project management; academic searching; APA style; citation management; and establishing a professional identity.

As the program coordinator, the Graduate Services Librarian will discuss the origination of the program, from its inception in ETSU’s Graduate Thesis and Dissertation Boot Camp to its growth as a full-fledged series. Creating new relationships, leveraging partnerships with other faculty and departments, and organizing and marketing these services are critical to program success. Scheduling, logistics, costs, and assessment will also be discussed.

After the program and discussion, attendees should be able to:

  • recognize the significant function librarians can provide to graduate student research support
  • convey the value of formal, targeted intervention to graduate students and campus administrators
  • create offerings to support their own graduate students

Meeting the needs of a diverse graduate population in a specialized area: Examples from a law library

Thomas Sneed, Emory University

Room 462

9:25 AM - 10:15 AM

When most people think of law schools, they think of students working towards a JD. However, many law schools also have non-JD graduate populations which include working professionals, international students, and students working toward something similar a PhD. So how does the library assist with this diverse group of graduate students?

This presentation will examine the MacMillan Law Library’s efforts with the graduate student population at the Emory University School of Law. This segment of the student body represents approximately 20% of the total law school population, with much of the growth in graduate students occurring in the past 5 years. Over this short period, the library has played an active role with the graduate students in areas such as law school orientation, helping them become acclimated to a new country, returning to school as non-traditional students, and teaching classes geared specifically for these groups. As the number of graduate students continues to increase, the library is also examining ways to meet this higher demand for services without additions to the library staff. By taking a look at the background, context, and efforts to assist these students, this presentation will provide attendees with best practices for working with a diverse graduate population in a unique academic setting.

Transforming Services: A year of investigating user-centered marketing strategies and information literacy programming for graduate students

Lisa M. Martin, University of Houston
Porcia N. Vaughn, University of Houston - Main

Room 460

9:25 AM - 10:15 AM

The University of Houston (UH) is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university that strives to serve more than 7,000 graduate and professional students. Graduate students have been historically underserved by the UH Libraries, however, in recent years the Libraries have made expanding services to graduate students a strategic initiative. UH Library administration has designated targeting specific user groups, including graduate students, with revitalized marketing and innovative programing a high priority.

Two project teams were established within the Liaison Services Department to investigate the role of liaison services in graduate education. Project Team 1 investigated best practices for marketing existing and upcoming library services to graduate students, while Project Team 2 investigated the creation of a workshop series which would prioritize the skills and competencies that graduate students need to be successful as academic or non-academic professionals. As part of a data-driven institution, project teams’ methodology included a survey for graduate students, interviews with key external stakeholders, and semi-structured focus groups with subject librarians.

Presenters will discuss how each of the project teams worked to systematically address graduate student needs by reviewing existing programs and services while also working to create graduate-desired programs and services.

10:25 AM

Naked and Afraid: Or, Giving Graduate Students the Clothes and Confidence for Data-Analysis Success

Amanda J. Swygart-Hobaugh M.L.S., Ph.D., Georgia State University

Room 460

10:25 AM - 11:15 AM


While masters- and doctoral-level graduate students in the social sciences are likely to have past undergraduate experience in doing secondary research such as literature reviews, they often have minimal to no experience in collecting and/or analyzing data (be it quantitative or qualitative in nature), a requisite for their completing theses or dissertations. Likewise, they are likely to be crunched for time and money resources that prohibits ambitious collections of new data, and thus they need guidance in finding existing data and accessible research software/tools for their original analyses. This presentation will give an overview of the specialized services I, as a Social Sciences Data Services Librarian, provide to help Georgia State University’s graduate students find existing data sources, collect original data, and analyze their data. My discussion of these services will illustrate the potential for librarians to push the boundaries of their traditional roles to become more embedded in graduate researchers’ process throughout the research data life cycle. Time permitting, this session could include a pair-and-share activity for attendees to brainstorm possible services for expanding their own roles in the realm of support for graduate students’ original research endeavors.


social sciences; data services; research services for graduate students; data collection; data analysis

Unique Library Services for Graduate Students: Support throughout the Graduate Lifecycle

Susan Smith, University of North Texas
Erin M. O'Toole, University of North Texas Libraries
Rebecca Barham, University of North Texas

Room 400

10:25 AM - 11:15 AM

In response to changing needs of graduate students, the University of North Texas Libraries have created unique services, spaces, and instruction. The transformation began with the recent creation of the Library Research Support Services (LRSS) department, a department focused on serving graduate students. The department quickly identified needs that fell into two categories: everyday needs and academic lifecycle needs. Everyday needs of graduate students include quiet study and writing space, writing assistance, and research assistance. Academic lifecycle needs are different, as needs vary depending on where a student is in the cycle: new graduate student, graduate student completing coursework, graduate student as professional scholar, and various stages associated with the dissertation.

To meet graduate students’ everyday needs, the libraries have constructed study rooms of varying capacities, conducted research on students’ study space preferences, collaborated with the writing lab to provide writing tutors on site, and embedded librarian services in academic colleges. Services created in response to graduate academic lifecycle needs include providing customized space, technology, and subject librarian consultation for monthly Dissertation Boot Camps; developing Graduate Student Mini-Boot Camps with themes of new graduate student support and preparation for the dissertation proposal; and delivering workshops on topics ranging from professional development to literature reviews.

We will present the development, implementation, and lessons learned from these new graduate student services and spaces. In addition, we will share plans for further transforming these services and future offerings for graduate students.

What could possibly go wrong? Evaluating mandatory reference consultations for a graduate cohort.

Catherine Bowers, Valdosta State University
Brett Williams, Valdosta State University

Room 462

10:25 AM - 11:15 AM

Since launching an appointments option, Odum Library at Valdosta State has had a robust schedule of reference consultations for students throughout the university, with an enthusiastic participation from graduate students. Recently, two professors from a graduate program required each of their students to schedule an individual research consultation with a reference librarian in tandem with a compendium project about social policy. In previous semesters, these students had only been advised that such assistance was available, and some had scheduled research consultations. This strategy of assigned consultations proved somewhat disruptive, in part due to the extra preparation for the high level of research required for an intensive project, and students did not always respond well to the interaction. Ultimately, this experience is forcing us to confront and reevaluate what we had thought was an effective way to work with graduate students. This report presents an analysis of opinions from the librarians, students and faculty involved, collected through interviews and surveys. We will investigate student satisfaction, anticipated goals from faculty, and librarian perspectives on the experience. Based on the results of this reflection, we hope to develop a more effective way to meet the needs of this and other graduate programs.

11:25 AM

Collaborating with Campus Partners to Develop a Graduate Information Literacy Program

Kathy Christie Anders, Texas A & M University - College Station

Room 400

11:25 AM - 12:15 PM

This presentation examine how academic libraries can collaborate with strategic partners across campus to develop a platform for campus-wide information literacy instruction for graduate students. In particular, I will discuss how the Texas A&M University Libraries took advantage of a newly developed professional development program for graduate students as a platform for graduate information literacy. This program has brought all of the educational offerings for graduate students from support units across campus under one umbrella and recently has begun offering a certificate program for graduate students who complete six workshops.

Participating in this professional development workshop has allowed the libraries to develop and offer information literacy workshops that apply to students from all disciplines. Additionally, the program has been a catalyst for discussing what information literacy looks like at the graduate level. Perhaps most importantly, participating in program has provided easy ways to begin collaborating with other units on campus, such as the University Writing Center, the Office of Graduate and Professional Students, and International Student Services. In my presentation, I will further explore these benefits, as well as the challenges in the logistics of the program and in developing a graduate information literacy program.

The Grad Commons in the Academic Library: Reimagining Collaborative Learning Spaces and Services for Graduate and Professional Students Through Participatory Design

Michael Courtney, Indiana University - Bloomington
Erika L. Jenns, Indiana University - Bloomington

Room 462

11:25 AM - 12:15 PM

During the Fall 2013 semester, the Indiana University Libraries officially launched the Grad Commons, a flexible, multipurpose space in the heart of the Herman B Wells Library’s research collection stacks to provide graduate and professional students easy access to the information resources and subject librarian expertise vital to their research. As part of a much larger vision that has sought to fulfill user needs by reimagining conjoined library spaces such as the Learning Commons, a 24/7 technology-infused learning center where students work on class assignments from start to finish, and the Scholars’ Commons, designed to stimulate scholarly conversation, interdisciplinary exchange, and intellectual discovery within a space that supports the journey from curiosity to discovery to publication, the Grad Commons was fully realized through several years of inclusive, participatory design and assessment. This presentation will discuss the realization of the Grad Commons, from the collection of assessment data using ethnographic methods to how the findings were applied to the design and improvement of library technologies, spaces, and services for graduate and professional students. The inclusion of graduate students in all facets of a participatory design and implementation process has also shaped the Grad Commons’ potential for future programming and growth opportunities. Additional discussion will include innovative approaches to including graduate and professional students in strategic planning for library spaces.

You’re in Good Company: Developing a Research Conference for Advanced Graduate Students in the Humanities

Brian Vetruba, Washington University in St Louis
Daria Carson-Dussan, Washington University in St Louis
Melissa Vetter, Washington University in St. Louis

Room 460

11:25 AM - 12:15 PM

In 2014, librarians at Washington University in St. Louis developed an annual research conference for advanced graduate students in the Humanities. This conference was inspired by the desire to connect to graduate students at the dissertation stage as librarians had observed a gap in librarian-graduate student interactions between the first years of graduate school and when students embark on their own dissertation research. Librarians discovered that graduate students often struggle in isolation with similar research questions as well as project management and dissertation writing; thus, we aptly entitled the conference “You’re in Good Company: A Mini-Conference for Advanced Graduate Students in the Humanities.” We will share the make-up of the conference, gathering input on session offerings, funding considerations, marketing, assessment, and administrative needs.

Our presentation will focus in part on the variety of sessions we have been able to offer and our collaborations with faculty and other campus partners. Sessions included not only advanced research skills but also hands-on workshops for technologies such as Zotero, Scrivener, and mobile apps. Faculty presented sessions about dissertation writing, time management strategies, tips for getting published and funded, as well as their own personal experiences.

The conference demonstrated the value of the library to the university community as You’re in Good Company will be in its third year and appears to be filling a void to further research skills, discovery of Humanities resources, and awareness of new technologies. We will also share our developing body of conference video and audio recordings. Finally, we will present recommendations to assist other librarians interested in developing a similar conference.