Some HKLC coordinators were able to attend the recent OCLC Asia Pacific Regional Council Meeting held 1-2 December 2016. The theme was "Libraries at the Crossroads", which was apt given the many challenges and changes that libraries are facing. In addition to the amazing venue (the Harbour Grand Hotel in North Point), there was plenty to like about this event. Below are our highlights:
I really enjoyed the keynote presentation by Prof. Ping Cheng Yeh 葉丙成 (blog, Facebook). I was quite impressed by his passion for teaching and his willingness to try out different creative ways to engage his students. He explained his teaching philosophy "For the student! By the student! Of the student!” using various examples from his classes. One specific example was him asking the students to design the homework problems, and at the end, students were not only engaged in learning, but got "addicted" to solving the problems! Due to his engineering background, the examples he gave were all science-focused, I wonder if such approach could work well in the humanities and social sciences as well. As a librarian, I would also love to explore if such approach could be applied in library workshops. Prof. Yeh also talked in length about the use of flipped classroom in his courses. He shared his "evil" way of making sure students watch the recorded lecture videos beforehand. In short, he started by getting students used to the idea of watching these videos in class first, after a while, they would be asked to watch them at home instead. A dose of public peer pressure was introduced with the help of social media to keep students motivated to watch the videos before class so they do not drag behind their teammates when doing exercises in class.
For me, the most memorable presentation came on Day 2 during the plenary session on library services as a predictor of student success. As librarians, we of course understand the value of our services, but it has always been challenging to communicate this to the rest of our community. Learning about how libraries have been putting together the statistics to help back up our claims was inspiring. I tweeted out my favourite stat from the presentation (see right). Although correlation does not equal causation, these hard numbers could really help in ensuring our communities value what libraries bring to the table.
Completely new to me was the concept of the Visitors/Resident Framework. This approach to learning about Library users was shared in a presentation by Lynn Silipigni Connaway (Senior Research Scientist at OCLC) and Peter Sidorko (University Librarian at HKU). In this research method, users are asked to 'map' their usage of various online platforms and tools according to whether they see themselves as a 'visitor' (i.e. infrequent use, largely anonymous) or a 'resident' (frequent use, easily identifiable) in those fields. This can help libraries learn about where users spend most of their time online and which services they feel closely connected to. This research has been carried out with university students, academic faculty and librarians - an example of a librarian's 'map' is pictured below.
I am sure I have massively over-simplified this approach (I'm still learning about it!) so I recommend you visit OCLC's Visitors/Resident Framework research page where you can read more and download the app used in the research.