Tag Archives: presentation

To Collect and Preserve: The State of State-Level CBA Collections in the U.S.

6 May

If you’re going to be at Fighting Inequality: the Joint Conference of the Labor and Working-Class History Association and the Working-Class Studies Association or the SLA Annual Conference, be sure to check out Aliqae Geraci and I presenting on the research project that we’ve been working on for the last two years! (Seriously, we contacted hundreds of state agencies for this thing. We were not messing around at all, here.)

We’ll be presenting the research in different ways to the two very different audiences, so here are both write-ups.


Battles over public sector collective bargaining rights have played out on the news, in legislative sessions, and through public demonstration. However, these public policy debates often occur without ready public access to the CBAs that trace and describe the working conditions and employment relationships in dispute. Inspired by Cornell University’s digital collection of New York State CBAs, and researchers seeking similar state collections, the authors conducted a national survey of each state’s CBA collection policies, mapping regulations and collections, and identifying historical scope and degree of public accessibility. The survey revealed dramatic variation across states, requiring deeper investigation of the impact of information gaps on working class participation in public discourse. The authors discuss potential avenues for information policy reform, and outline best practices for state agencies and labor organizations to partner with libraries to create accessible collections that comprehensively document public sector collective bargaining.

And for SLA:

Through collaboration with the New York State Public Employment Relations Board, Cornell University’s Martin P. Catherwood Library has established a collection of public sector collective bargaining agreements (CBAs), including 7,000 held in their open access digital repository, DigitalCommons@ILR. ILR Research Librarian Aliqae Geraci and Digital Projects Coordinator Jim DelRosso will present their preliminary research findings of a 50-state survey identifying and evaluating similar state-level collections of public sector CBAs, and discuss standards and best practices for libraries seeking to develop publicly accessible collections in partnership with government agencies.

Program Takeaways

  1. Participants will be briefed on key issues surrounding public sector labor relations in the United States in order to interpret the findings of the state-level survey of collective bargaining agreement collections and assess their comprehensiveness and accessibility.
  2. Participants will map existing state-level print and digital CBA collections in order to strategically identify potential partnerships and collaborative opportunities between libraries, labor unions, and government bodies.

So if you’re going to be at LAWCHA/WCSA in Washington, DC at the end of May, or at SLA in June, please join us! We promise you’ll learn something.

Come hear Amy Buckland (also me) talk repositories at NYLA!

16 Aug

Amy Buckland and I will be presenting a pre-conference CE workshop on digital repositories at the New York Library Association’s Annual Conference this year. The date is September 25, and here’s the low-down:

Digital Repositories

Sponsor: ASLS
Half Day PM  2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
This workshop addresses key issues surrounding the creation, maintenance, and cultivation of digital repositories. Drawing on the latest literature, case studies, and personal experiences, speakers lead a discussion that covers planning the digital repository, selecting a methodology for its establishment, populating it with content, marketing it to the library’s constituencies, and meeting the various challenges and questions along the way. Participants have the opportunity to bring their own experiences to bear, as well as engage in group discussions regarding how to get the most out of a digital repository.

Jim DelRosso is the Digital Projects Coordinator for Cornell University’s Hospitality, Labor, and Management Library, where he is responsible for such projects as DigitalCommons@ILR, the digital repository for Cornell’s ILR School. A digital librarian since 2009, Jim is also the President for the Upstate New York Chapter of the Special Libraries Association, and has served as the Communication & Social Media Chair for the SLA’s Academic Division.

Amy Buckland is the eScholarship, ePublishing & Digitization Coordinator at McGill University Library, where she is responsible for scholarly communication, publishing initiatives, and making rare items from special collections available to the world through digitization. She loves information almost as much as Fluevog shoes, and thinks academic libraryland is ripe for a revolution. You can find her online at informingthoughts.com and in most social networks as Jambina.

So, if you’re heading to NYLA, or just thinking about it, give us a look. We’ll be entertaining and informative!

Day 3, or 10, of #cildc: In which I present

30 Mar

This past Monday, I tweeted, “We could not purposefully design a more elegant and hideous tool for crushing post-conference enthusiasm than the flooded email inbox.” Turns out, the tool in question also works on blogging.

A week ago, we was getting ready to check out of the Washington Hilton, not yet realizing that our car’s battery had died during the week and we would be spending a decent chunk of the morning wondering if it was just a dead battery, or if your venerable Honda CR-V had decided to permanently give up the ghost in a valet garage 350 miles from home. Luckily, it was the former, and the issue was resolved two solid hours before I had to present.

Plenty of time, that.


My first presentation, on prezi: http://prezi.com/vljiwo6wy3gd/plural-of-anecdote-cil2012/

Birth to earth, baby.

First off, thanks to all who enjoyed the presentation, including all the folks who tweeted about it. Y’all warmed my cold, cold librarian heart.

Secondly, I want to make clear one quote that shouldn’t be attributed to me directly: the bit about needing to learn how patrons work, rather than asking them what they need. I saw that on twitter, missed who said it, and it came to mind as I was talking. I explained that, but saw someone tweet it like it was mine. It’s not, and I don’t want to claim credit. (Also, I think we need to do both. But that’s a side note.)

Some things I did say, and I’m glad they seemed to get some traction:

There is no antagonism between data and anecdotes. An story without data to back it up has no foundation. And as soon as you start collecting data, you’re beginning to build a narrative — simply by deciding which questions to ask. By the time you start putting that data into charts and graphs, there’s absolutely a narrative involved, so you need to know what it is rather than shying away from its existence. If you don’t put the story in someone else will.

Stories will tell you what data to get, and the data you get will always lead to more questions, which will be answered by a combination of more data and more stories.

The surest path to obsolescence for our profession is to design systems and resources that put us between our users and their work. If we instead aspire to create systems and resources that make positive changes in our users, and those changes both manifest and propagate without us, we will never be obsolete.

That was a really fun one.


Right after that, I went and talked first-year experiences. I co-presented with the most excellent Jenn Colt-Demaree from CUL’s web team, and we talked about the Get Started! 2011 efforts I described in part last August. Our prezi is here: http://prezi.com/terkzxm3l1un/cil2012-get-started-2011/

We only had ten minutes or so, as we were sharing the time slot with folks from Washburn and Drake. But it was great to present with Jenn; she got to tell them about the excellent changes we made to the first year website, and what our goals were the future were. And people loved the video and the Z-cards. (I’m thrilled Jenn remembered to bring several of the latter; we gave them all away.)


After that, there was bourbon and farewells in the lobby, and then I hopped on a train. Another great CiL. Looking forward to next year.

Webinar links and reflections

18 Oct

Last week’s webinar seemed to go very well. It’s a whole different experience for me, making a presentation in a format which makes it impossible for me to see or hear the audience. There were apparently 83 people in attendance, and the feedback I’ve received both from bepress and via email has been positive.

Plus, my sign totally worked:

If you’re interested in what I had to say about getting faculty involved in a digital repository, but weren’t able to attend, there are a few ways you can check it out. First, here are the slides from Prezi:

Or, you could watch the video of slides with voice-over:

Both of those, plus a PDF of the slides, are available here.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how this went. I probably talked too long,* and so we didn’t have as much time for questions as I’d like.** But I thought the questions I did get were good, and I’m hopeful that folks might send me more.

I enjoy talking about this stuff, and I try to frame the conversation in terms of relationships: both between the folks who work at libraries and the folks who make content, and between the material within the repositories and its users/creators.

Back when I spoke at an IR Day in April, the one piece of negative commentary I received was that I didn’t use the DigitalCommons software at any point in my presentation. Frankly, I can’t imagine giving that kind of presentation outside of training folks within my library or school to use the software, and one of the reasons I’m glad give webinars or presentations in conjunction with bepress is that I don’t have to frame my presentation in a DigitalCommons-specific way.***

I try to make this stuff generally applicable, regardless of what kind of repository software you use (and maybe even to digital library projects beyond repositories). Hopefully, I succeeded this time around.


** I can’t really fault bepress for cutting things off right at an hour, though; I actually needed to end the webinar and start a chat reference shift.
*** I did talk a bit about the upload interface, I believe, but even then I tried to frame in the context of how much you could expect folks outside the library to contribute to repository workflow.


10 Oct

While this Fall is definitely lighter on speaking gigs, I’ve still got a couple. This Thursday’s will be cool on two levels: one, I like the topic; two, I don’t need to leave my office.

“Building Content by Building Community: Engaging Faculty at Cornell’s ILR School”

Thursday, October 13, at 11am Pacific time

Register here: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/155722170

In this webinar, Jim DelRosso, Web and Digital Projects Manager at ILR’s Catherwood Library, will share how they have achieved a 66% rate of faculty involvement in their repository through a variety of services. Topics include: creating interest and a sense of ownership of the IR among faculty; whom to approach and how; developing effective outreach and workflows; and sustaining faculty participation over the long term.

I’ve spoken on similar topics before, so if you’re interested it should run about 45-60 minutes, and it’s free. Can’t beat that price!

IR Day Retrospective

24 Jun

It’s a short one, I must confess; a paragraph and some links.

The event was very well put together, and attended by folks who were very cool and asked great questions. I even ended up getting a tour of the Thurgood Marshall Law Library, which was great. On the whole I thought it was a solid event, and the feedback I received was positive.

Now, links!

I wish I’d written this stuff up sooner, when then event was fresher in my mind. Next week I’ll try to get to SLA, before that fades entirely.

The Niwanda Jones Road Show, Bibliotechnologic Emporium and Presentational Jamboree

26 May

Also known as, “two months of seemingly non-stop travel, punctuated by standing in the front of rooms and talking”. See also:

By my count, the last 73 days have included just over 1,700 miles of travel (1,100 by car, 600 by plane) and 12 hours and 50 minutes of presentation time (three workshops, four presentations, one panel).  Somehow, only two states (plus the District of Columbia) were involved.

I’m kinda tired (and apparently prone to parenthetical statements). I’m not sure if I really bit off more than I could chew, since the various and sundry events seemed to go well, but it was a damned close thing. I did, of course, get to meet and see a great many tremendous folks, and see some excellent presentations. I still plan to make travel a part of this career thing, though likely not on the kind of schedule I saw this Spring.

And, of course, the travel’s not done: in two weeks I go to SLA. But I’m not presenting, just attending. And after that I may not be traveling for work until CiL12, and I’ve no presentations on the horizon before a webinar in the Fall.

Which is not to say I won’t be busy: I’ll endeavor to produce something publishable over the next two seasons, and I’m gonna have a lot of new stuff on my plate at work. (More on that in a later post, maybe.)

But I’m not gonna lie: in comparison, such things sound downright restful. I am nearly certain that they will prove me wrong, and that I’ll look back on that statement with rue. But I’m willing to enjoy the delusion for now.

EDIT: IR Day went really well, by the way. I’ll post more about it when they get my presentation — and video! — posted to their repository, allowing me to provide a plethora of links. But I was really impressed with the event, the University of Maryland School of Law, and their Thurgood Marshall Law Library (which I was lucky enough to get a tour of).