Five speakers—ranging from early career to experienced librarians—who will help you remain relevant as information professionals at your workplace.

Librarian, Rural Technologist

Jessamyn West of Randolph is a consultant, researcher and international public speaker on library science and digital divide issues. She is the author of a 2011 book Without a Net: Librarians Bridging the Digital Divide which explores the challenges of a society becoming stratified by computer skills as well as race and income inequality. Jessamyn speaks to local, regional, and national libraries and library associations and is a regular Computers in Libraries columnist writing on these and other issues relating to the status and roles of libraries in the modern changing world. She has put her skills to good use for thirteen years teaching basic technology classes at Randolph Technical Career Center's adult education program. In addition to being a community technologist and writer, she teaches Community Engagement at University Of Hawai'i at Manoa's Library & Information Science Program, and is the technology coordinator for the Vermont Library Association (VLA). She created the "Passport to Vermont Libraries" program and was the recipient of VLA's Library Advocate of the Year Award in 2016, and was recently a Fellow at Harvard's Library Innovation Lab. She holds a BA from Hampshire College and an MLib. from the University of Washington.

Opening Keynote: Future Proofing the Library

Hong Kong Baptist University Library

Chloe is the Information Services Librarian at Hong Kong Baptist University Library. Her professional interests include library marketing, information literacy, and emerging technology.

Session: A Community of Practice - Hong Kong Libraries Connect

In 2016, four like-minded librarians in Hong Kong started Hong Kong Libraries Connect. It was meant to provide an informal space/platform for professional networking and sharing in the region. In this presentation, I will share our origin story, events/activities that we have organized, and challenges that we have encountered.

Texas Tech University Libraries

Jingjing Wu is the Web assistant librarian in the Texas Tech University Libraries. She earned her Master of Science in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University and Bachelor of Engineering in Optical Instrumentation with a minor in Information Science from Zhejiang University. Her research interests include Web technologies, user experience in libraries, and data analysis.

Session: Online Professional Development for Librarians

Higher education and academic librarianship are changing dramatically. Continuous career growth and development is critical in improving job performance as well as keeping adaptable to changes. During the past decade, libraries witnessed an increase in non-traditional positions for library employees, such as embedded librarian, data management librarian, user experience librarian, assessment librarian, digital preservation and curation librarian, and so on. Most of these positions are filled by library employees, who have already served on traditional library positions for years and are willing to explore new areas. Professional development is important not only to people changing their roles in libraries but to everyone working in this profession.

As a librarian in my early career, I started to attend online courses, webinar, and conferences since 2015. The presentation aims to share online career development resources for librarians and my personal experience with these programs. I hope other librarians can benefit from my experience.

Nanyang Technological University

Shu Wen is currently working in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Library as an Assistant Director with the Research Data Management Team. She works closely with faculty of various schools to provide advice in writing Data Management Plans, conducting research data management workshops, and providing curatorial support for the institutional data repository. Prior to her current role, she worked in National University of Singapore Libraries for 7 years as a pharmacy resource librarian and was involved in projects and work areas relating to scholarly communication.

Session: Research Data Management – New Opportunities and Challenges

In the era of big data and the advent of Open Science movement, the organization and sharing of research data is gaining importance among researchers who seek to maximise their research impact and to reduce time and resources in collecting data. This presentation seeks to provide a quick overview of research data management and how librarians are relevant in providing research data management services in universities and research institutions.

Learning outcomes:

  • Trends in research data management
  • Implications on academic library services
  • Resources to find out more on research data management

University of Houston

Wenli Gao is the data services librarian at University of Houston. She is responsible for providing support for faculty and students working with geospatial, numeric, statistical, and other data. She is active in American Library Association (ALA) and Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL). Wenli has presented various topics at ALA, ACRL, ER&L and NASIG conferences.

Before coming to the University of Houston Libraries, Wenli earned a Master of Library Science from Syracuse University, and an MS in Communication Media Technologies from Rochester Institute of Technology. She previously worked at Morrisville State College and University of Central Oklahoma.

Session: Piloting emerging research workshops at University of Houston

University of Houston has recently launched a new initiative called 50 in 5, which aims to increase research output by 50% in 5 years. The liaison department has restructured to have a research team to better respond to the new research needs from faculty and students.

As the data librarian, I lead our new emerging research workshop series to better equip faculty and students with new research tools for data cleaning, visualization, and GIS. With limited resources, one of my goals is also to provide training for librarians so that they can answer data related questions, and take on introductory level workshops so that I could develop more advanced courses. In this workshop, I will talk about how I design and promote the courses, feedback from participants, and plans for future courses. I will also talk about resources for librarians to develop skills in those emerging research areas.

At the end of the session,

  • participants will have an understanding of our pilot workshops and know how we design the courses
  • participants will learn how to build a team of librarians in order to sustain and expand workshop series
  • participants will be introduced to resources if they want to learn more in those emerging research tools.