Past Projects

Page

Below is a curated list of past library work and projects I’m proud of. Vermont Agency of Transportation samples are available on request. For confidentiality reasons, they are not included in this site.

Vermont Agency of Transportation
Training to Schedule Your Unit’s Records
Basics of Recordkeeping at VTrans
Eastern Transportation Knowledge Network (ETKN) LibGuides
OnBase Governing Body
AOT Records Management Fact Book and Annual Report

Goddard College
ILS Migration
Technology Communications
Digital Mirroring
Better Web Interfaces
Innovative Workshops
Satellite Librarian
The RDA Divide
Nurtured Collections
Unapologetic Weeding

Training to Schedule Your Unit’s Records

The VTrans Records Management teams is charged with creating a comprehensive training to guide VTrans business units through inventory, analysis, and writing guidance to manage their Agency copies of record. This is a six-part training program including five classes and individualized assistance. The flagship group of trainees  includes employees from units across the Agency whose records were missed or inaccurately scheduled in the first pass. They began classes in June 2017. I taught the first in the series.

Training to Schedule Your Unit's Records

Basics of Recordkeeping at VTrans

Basics of Recordkeeping at VTrans is a three-part interactive series of online trainings about Records Management at the Vermont Agency of Transportation. Each part of training includes a short video (closed captioning and transcripts are available) followed by a brief quiz to reinforce what trainees will learn. A certificate of completion is awarded upon successful completion of all three parts. This series is a prerequisite to a more in-depth, in-person training.

As a student in the Design for Learning Project, I was fortunate enough to have this work serve as my Capstone Project. Continual feedback and revision from both inside and outside of the Agency has made the production modules top notch. This training touches all Divisions, all work sites, and all levels of the institutional hierarchy in an Agency of 1300 employees. Approval by our Records and Information Management Board was required at all stages and extra care was given to accessibility. Planning and draft production ran March-June 2016. Pilot and revision ran July-August 2016. Testing and production in the Agency Cornerstone LMS ran September-October 2016. Agency-wide distribution to the flagship group of 420+ employees ran November 2016-January 2017 with a completion rate of 98.5%. Retooling and revision will begin in April 2017 with a focus on continuing education and new employee orientation.

ScreenShotHelenLindaCapstone.png

Screenshot of D4L Capstone Videos with Closed Captions

Eastern Transportation Knowledge Network (ETKN) LibGuides

The Eastern Transportation Knowledge Network (ETKN) is a resource sharing network of transportation libraries, organizations, and others whose mission is to “increase access to transportation research and information, to reduce the operating costs of its member libraries, and to offer new and improved information services for member libraries and their users.”

The State of Vermont does not have a transportation library, but I encouraged us to join as an affiliate member to provide a new avenue for VTrans researchers to receive and contribute to regional and national collaboration. We cannot contribute to resource sharing in the traditional sense, since we don’t have a library, but I am helping with member surveys and updating the group LibGuides. Currently we’re updating the Sustainability Guide and I am primarily responsible for the Highway tab updates.

OnBase Governing Body

I am Chair of the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s OnBase Governing Body, a group of 15+ Agency staff, primarily in our Finance and Highway divisions, charged with review, approval, and implementation of changes to improve usability and to act as champions for the OnBase Enterprise Content Management system. During 2016-2017 we’re directing a pilot project for digital records management best practices within the OnBase infrastructure. Ultimately, we’ll gain Federal Highway Administration and Agency CFO approval for a paperless recordkeeping and reporting environment, and secure funding to build it in production.

We organized a pro-bono, Agency-wide assessment of our business and IT environment with our Hyland OnBase vendor, building investment in the process and gaining commitment from 50+ personnel from executives to skeptical non-users. They attended business unit meetings and shared openly and candidly about their work and document storage habits over the course of three days at the end of October 2016. The purpose of the assessment was to gain a high-level understanding of VTrans business processes, the IT landscape, and gauge the health of our existing OnBase system. This resulted in a report that made recommendations for quick fixes, better return on investment, and future growth. The Agency now has a roadmap to success for the first time in its fifteen-year history with the software.

AOT Records Management Fact Book and Annual Report

As chief editor of the AOT Records Management Fact Book and Annual Report, I am delighted to show-off the work of the Records Management unit each year. The Fact Book documents goals, accomplishments, challenges, and progress of the records management program at Vermont Agency of Transportation during the calendar year. It’s designed with Adobe InDesign and printed/distributed internally. The inaugural issue was published April 1, 2016.

FactBook  2017rmfactbookcover

ILS Migration

My first professional project was orchestrating a migration to the Koha ILS at Goddard College, making ours the first academic library in Vermont on an open-source system. It is one of the proudest achievements of my career. The decision to change systems is expensive and both physically and psychologically exhausting. Still, it’s not nearly as daunting as wrestling with a system that’s a bad fit. When we migrated to Koha, hosted with Bywater Solutions, we began saving $12,000 annually and years later we still liked the product and our service vendor. No system is perfect, but at least in open-source you can make meaningful system-wide change.

Technology Communications

The most successful technology conversations use both visual and language-based methods to solve a problem or teach a new skill. Combining a visual, like a screenshot, with descriptive language, like using the 5-Ws to be your own detective, can provide a fuller picture that leads to a fast, easy solution. I apply this method in all my tutorials as well, employing screenshots with written instructions to accommodate all learners.

Digital Mirroring

It’s imperative that beloved features of the physical library be mirrored in the online environment, especially if you’re serving populations at a distance. I create mirror lists of all our most popular physical collections & displays in the online catalog so that the browsing experience can be duplicated wherever possible.

Better Web Interfaces

I’ve been involved in many efforts to fight badly designed web pages. The latest user experience improvement at Goddard College involved moving our separate WordPress website onto the new college main site, making us a part of the college’s web presence for the first time. I simplified all of our pages and expanded and organized our Research Resources to highlight more materials and make them easier to find. At the same time, we upgraded our catalog site to a responsive theme. In my role as co-webmaster of the VLA website, nobody knew better how much we’d outgrown our previous website. I convened the Ad-Hoc Website Redesign Committee in 2012. After a few false starts we unveiled the new website in March 2014, a collaborative effort that takes into account user feedback, usability standards, and common expectations of modern websites.

Innovative Workshops

Goddard College is a progressive, low-residency college, so it is incumbent upon us to find ways to reach students at a distance and give them more bang for their on campus time. In Fall 2015, I piloted a new pre-campus orientation tutorial with Guide on The Side (GOTS) to replace our maligned on campus orientation. The guide frees everyone on campus for a hands-on Library Skills Lab, helping students learn the tools through doing. The pilot was such a success that Student Services has asked for IT information to be added so that they can follow the same hands-on model on campus. I have received many requests to teach other departments how to use the GOTS software for their own tutorials. The college is a collaborative environment by design, so it seems only natural to work with students & faculty to co-lead workshops. While the library already does this with faculty on request, I would like to see us make this a regular offering at every residency. Work on this began formally during Fall 2014 with Demystifying Research, co-written with MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts faculty for specific use with artists. Students have claimed the workshop is “life changing.” Continual improvement of teaching methods and content, in collaboration with faculty and staff campus-wide, has resulted in a 51% increase in student satisfaction.

Satellite Librarian

I proposed & piloted the Satellite Librarian Program at Goddard College over the Fall 2013 semester. Satellite Librarian is set up in our Community Center doing everything but moving physical materials. Based on the evaluation results we made the program a permanent offering of the Library & Information Technology Services Department as of Spring 2014. It is one of the most popular new initiatives college-wide. I also proposed changes to our customer-service model at the circulation desk to ensure that a person was always present when students approached. Between these two user-driven changes, library reference interactions increased by 57% in one semester and 113% over time, despite declining enrollment.

The RDA Divide

I am wholeheartedly in support of retiring AACRII and love the potential RDA holds for search and display in the digital environment. If I’m concerned about anything, it’s the RDA divide. The cost of training, along with the subscription pricing model for RDA Toolkit, is something that too many libraries cannot afford. It’s not a matter of willingness, it’s a matter of costliness. This is why I helped create the RDA Training Opportunities Masterlist, which is growing all the time. I taught myself RDA using mostly freely available resources and transitioned Goddard to RDA cataloging in Spring 2015.

Nurtured Collections

I’m a huge fan of displayed collections, not only for patrons to enjoy browsing, but for librarians to enjoy nurturing. My displays are rigorously used because they are well loved and well attended to.

  • Goddard Authors Special Collection – It’s important for colleges to celebrate the accomplishments of their students, staff, faculty, alumni, and others that are a part of the college community. Under my care this collection gained structure, focus, visibility, and circulation numbers. It contains over 1,800 items and is actively growing. During each residency, I also created a residency display that highlighted the works of that group’s faculty and guest speakers.
  • Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and More – Designed to meet the needs of a fledgling Graphic Novel Writing concentration in our MFA program, this collection has grown to over 600 titles selected from a variety of academic, popular, and personal sources and covers the full range of graphic storytelling styles & techniques. I’m told we have one of the largest and most diverse collections and that we make believers of people who have never liked comics.
  • New Books – One of the first things I did when I was hired at Goddard was create a display for new books. Complaints about a lack of new materials dropped precipitously. It was meant as a fast solution to a common problem, but this display is one of the most heavily used and beloved areas of the library now.

Unapologetic Weeding

I believe in the healing power of weeding, it should be done thoughtfully and often. Getting rid of the materials that don’t contribute to the usability of the collection only makes the circulating collection stronger. I reduced the Goddard collection by over 20,000 items in one of the largest weeds every performed on the collection. It sounds aggressive, and it was, but it was also necessary. Complaints about the age of the collection went down by half and circulation continued to grow even as enrollment was in decline.