Unconference 2018 Archive

View the RECORDED EVENT or jump to a specific segment using the links below. (link to recording coming soon)

When appropriate, session slides and poster presentations are available in PDF format below the session information.

Eric Stroshane, ND STAte Library

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Keynote Speakers


Lila Higgins is a museum educator with 15 years of experience in environmental education, exhibit development, and citizen science. In late 2008 she joined the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles (NHMLA) County. She currently oversees the Museum’s Community Science program one of the Museum’s strategic initiatives. Her focus on communicating science to the public in novel ways led her to create the @NatureinLA social media accounts and blog, and interactive museum exhibits. Lila was the lead educator for the museum’s Nature Lab and Nature Gardens exhibits, which respectively focus on sharing stories about nature in Los Angeles. Lila holds a bachelor’s degree in Entomology from University of California, Riverside and a Master’s degree in Environmental Education from California State University, San Bernardino.

Julia Kumari Drapkin is the CEO and founder of ISeeChange, an award-winning citizen journalism and citizen science venture that empowers communities to connect to each other and their changing environment. Drapkin created ISeeChange after spending over a decade covering natural disasters and climate change science across the globe and in her own backyard in the Gulf Coast. She has worked as the Senior Science Reporter for The Nature Conservancy; a foreign correspondent and environmental radio reporter for PRI's The World and Global Post; as a photojournalist for the Associated Press in South Asia and the St. Petersburg Times; and a multimedia producer for the Times Picayune. She was a NSF Polar Science Fellow in 2009 and a Metcalf Environmental Reporting Fellow in 2007. Drapkin currently serves on the board of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters and is a consultant for the think tank Resources for the Future and NASA. Prior to journalism, Julia did research anthropology and archaeology for over 7 years in Latin America, where she geeked out on Mayan farmer’s almanacs.


Lightning Talks

The Longspur Prairie Fund's Micro-Prairie Habitats
Peter Schultz

"Lawns" are the dominant "crop" in the United States.  In fact, homes, golf courses and parks grow more acres of turf grass than U.S. farmers devote to corn, wheat and fruit trees — combined. In a study published in Environmental Management in 2005, researchers estimated there are 40 million acres of turf grass in the U.S., covering 1.9 percent of the land.  Needless to say, this is a problematic situation for bees and other pollinators.   But what can be done?   The Longspur Prairie Fund's Micro-Prairie Project is an answer to that question. 

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Elwyn B. Robinson's History of ND: A Multimedia Exhibit
Megan Denis & Zeineb Yousif

The Chester Fritz Library held its first multimedia interactive exhibit celebrating Elwyn B. Robinson’s History of North Dakota. This book, a standard text throughout the state’s high schools and colleges, is now a freely available open access e-book that is hosted in the UND Scholarly Commons Digital Repository. The multimedia exhibit resides in a MagicBox display case and pulls together photos, artifacts from Special Collections, videos from UND faculty, plus allows the viewer to turn the pages of the digital book.  Our lightning talk will demonstrate how the MagicBox works and how we created this exhibit.

​Live session


"Physicists Don't Wear Lipstick"
Katie Moller

​Katie Moller is a Junior at UND with a double-major in Communications and Physics. On campus she is active in a “Coulee Cleanway” project and she’s looking to a career in science communication. She will also talk about her passion for encouraging women in STEM.

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Takeaways from an Inaugural Usability Study & Future Plans
Christine Rigda, Jessica Morales, & Margaret A. Hoogland

With little training or experience, students from the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio quickly completed most tasks in the Usability Study of the library’s discovery layer.  One task, however, proved problematic and led to a redesign of the interface.  Christine Rigda, who leads the group, will explain some of the challenges the usability team faced and background on why the team chose to study the discovery layer as well as the technology used to gather the data.  Jessica Morales will discuss data analysis, identified areas to improve, and implementation of discovery layer changes based on the study results.  Margaret Hoogland will share some insights on how the team plans to design and conduct future usability studies. This session will engage the audience and provide three different but compatible views on how to plan, conduct, and analyze usability study results to improve the user experience.

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Library Scholarly Communication Initiatives at the University of North Dakota
Sara Kuhn & Holly Gabriel

​Librarians at the University of North Dakota (UND) are implementing scholarly communication initiatives in partnership with faculty and other campus groups (e.g. Research Office), to bring about a greater awareness and understanding of related topics like: open access, open educational resources, researcher IDs and communities, metrics and altmetrics, journal quality indicators, data management, copyright and author’s rights, and publishing strategies. At UND, there is a campus-wide effort for colleges to identify the top high quality journals in their fields or disciplines, and to track faculty scholarly publishing/research outputs for heightened visibility and impact.  Sara and Holly will share their experience engaging in these initiatives, as well as information on the broader environment surrounding scholarly communication activities on campus.

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The Importance of Learning Outcomes for Studen Employees
Karlene Clark

Easiest explanation: What will they put on their resume as a mastered skill?  Student employees are often the first or only person a patron interacts with. Excellent customer service (“soft skills”) empowers front-line staff to know how to handle difficult situations, and to make decisions based on the library’s values rather than just on the rules. 

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Facing Our Fears: Is My Job Safe
Kelly Thormodson

Facilitated Discussion
This  discussion will take on the question that is on many of our minds, Is my job safe?  With the financial burdens our states are facing,  schools and libraries are asked to cut costs.  Many people don’t feel their job is safe.  Let’s talk about that fear, the cutting of costs and potentially jobs and how we as a profession can market ourselves as indispensable.

Live session


Mobile Apps for Mental & Behavioral Health
Dawn Hackman

​Mobile app stores are full of mHealth, apps useful in medical care, mental health, & personal care. The average consumer may be overwhelmed by the number of choices. The presenter will provide an overview of many high quality free and freemium apps designed to supplement treatment in the areas of mental and behavioral health, as well as suggestions for keeping up to date with new resources.

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Making the Most of Student Employment
Laura Trude & Debbie Aaker

​We undertook three initiatives related to student workers this past year: improving and spreading out the on-boarding process, revising student worker evaluations to connect their work to competencies valued by employers, and adding semester-long projects that allow students to explore areas of interest during their down time on the desk while working on something that benefits the library. This poster will summarize the problems we addressed, best practices from the literature, what we did, and what we learned from implementation.

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"The Ecosystem of Publishing": Building a Lesson Plan on Context and Narrative
Devon Olson

​In this poster I will be sharing my lesson plan for a course I recently taught on the topic of “academic publishing” to 80 second-year Masters of Occupational Therapy students at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences. In this course I sought to fit multiple disparate concepts related to academic publishing into a single two-hour library instruction session, while also contextualizing these concepts in a way that made them both appropriate for, and relevant to, my students and their future careers.

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