Friday, April 30




Breakout Session 4


Breakout Session 5


Lightning Talks 


Closing Remarks & Poster Award Announcement


WAAL Board & Member Discussion Opportunity


Welcome: 8:15 - 8:30

WAAL Conference Chairs, Elisabeth Kaune and Kate Otto, will share welcoming remarks for the WAAL 2021 Annual Conference’s second day.

Breakout Sessions

Session 4: 9:00-9:45

Lessons Learned: Getting the Most Out of Library School

Katelyn Sabelko, Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, IA

Attention all present, future, and past library school students: Curious to hear a current take on getting the most out of library school? This presentation will focus on the experiences I found most valuable in graduate school, the risks I’ve taken that have paid off, and some lessons I’ve learned the hard way. If you’re a current or future student, you’ll leave the session with ideas on where to focus your energy during library school. If you’re an LIS professional, you’ll leave with insight into how you can support emerging professionals. Come ready to engage in (friendly, honest, empathetic) discussion! I want to hear what you’ve learned, too.


Re-Imagining the Undergraduate Research Award

Raina Bloom, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jessica Newman, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Undergraduate Research Award Committee at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has transformed our longstanding Undergraduate Research Award, significantly increasing its reach and impact. The previous award reached a targeted group of students at the end of their research process. We received few applications, and, due to lack of guidance, the applicants often hadn’t had appropriate, sustained contact with library resources and staff. Our goal was to create a new award structure that reached students across campus and integrated financial support and librarian involvement early in the students’ research process.  


Session 5: 10:00-10:45

A Risk-free Introduction to Open Textbooks

Kristin Woodward, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

For a small initial investment in time and attention, participants will learn best practices for identifying open textbooks that align with course learning goals. But wait-- that’s not all! For the same low price, we will reward participants with strategies for getting the open textbook conversation started on their campus. Still not convinced? We’ll also throw in, for the same low introductory price, stories of successful UW Milwaukee open textbook adoptions you can use as models on your campus!    

Ready, Set, Engage! Making the Library a Center for Civic Preparation on Campus

Shauna Edson, University of Wisconsin-Parkside 

Libraries are uniquely positioned as hubs for civic engagement. While some in our communities might argue that libraries should remain neutral and avoid talk of controversial issues, libraries at UW-Parkside and UW-Eau Claire have embraced civic engagement as a vital form of outreach. In this presentation, we will talk how libraries get out the vote through voter education, National Voter Registration Day, and other voter support. Going beyond voting, we will talk about UW-Eau Claire’s collaborations with community organizations to assist with Census 2020. And we will provide an overview of community-based learning projects at UW-Parkside, and how the library is documenting and archiving its connections with the community. This presentation will give participants the opportunity to discuss potential collaborations and community outreach projects, and begin to inventory how their libraries foster civic engagement.


Extending Digital Collections for Teaching & Research

Ann Hanlon, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Jie Chen, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Michael Doylen, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The UWM Libraries Digital Collections include over 170,000 freely available digitized archival sources in over sixty different collections. These unique digital collections are valuable resources, both for the classroom and for research.  With nearly two million pageviews a year, we know people are finding our collections. But students and researchers alike need more than discovery tools to effectively put this rich resource to work. In this presentation, we will discuss how we are working to extend those collections using low-barrier-to-entry digital tools that enable faculty and students to work with, understand, and transform digitized primary sources in new ways. Through the UWM Libraries Digital Humanities Lab, we have gained valuable insights from two Fellows programs - the Digital Humanities Teaching Fellows, now in its second year; and the UWM Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS)-DH Fellow program. We'll explore how the Fellows have informed extending our digital collections, highlighting the "toolkit" that is emerging from those discussions. One example we’ll discuss is StoryMapJS, a free application designed to tell place-based stories using maps, images, sound, and video. We will discuss its use in the classroom using our March on Milwaukee Civil Rights collection and other sources, as well as how we have extended the tool's functionality by customizing a “canned” version for the CLACS Fellow that can be viewed in no-or-low-network-connection areas of Cuba. Because these tools (and collections) are free and open, we anticipate that the methods we demonstrate can be adopted by nearly any Library.


Lightning Talks: 11:00-12:00 

The Risks and Rewards of Using an iPad for Hourly Headcounts

Scott Pfitzinger, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

It has been 3 years since Murphy Library began using a free iPad app for doing the hourly counts of people in the building instead of just using a clicker. This has allowed librarians to collect data and trends regarding the use of specific sections of the library by hours of the day. This talk will present the data that library staff has been able to gather and discuss the problems and benefits they have encountered.


The Risk of a Student Worker Schedule Draft Day

Debbie Brezovar, Library Operations Supervisor, Carroll University 

After experiencing many weeks of setting-up and revising student worker schedules before each semester, and then seeing a high number of absenteeism throughout the school year, library staff developed a new scheduling system to put the focus on student engagement and accountability.  Similar to the sporting world, we implemented a Draft Day.  This Lightning Talk will explain the steps needed to set up your own Student Worker Schedule Draft, the benefits for both supervisors and students, and some lessons learned along the way.


The Streaming Video Rocket Sled to Hell: How We Survived the Ride

Pam Cipkrowski, Collection Development Librarian, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Rebecca Strandlie, Library Services Assistant, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

When the UW-La Crosse campus switched to online learning last spring during the COVID pandemic, demand for streaming video increased exponentially, and librarians embarked on a wild ride of non stop streaming video requests. To keep all these requests from careening off track, staff developed an online tool to track the status of all film requests, in progress orders, video package deals, expenditure data, and more. Pam and Rebecca will share how they put this tool together, as well as the risks they took and the rewards reaped along the way. With the demand for streaming video not likely to slow down, they will show how they are poised to take control of the streaming video rocket sled as it hurtles into the future. 


Understanding Information Privilege in the Time of COVID-19

Aubrey Huff, Undergraduate Support and Outreach Librarian, University of Wisconsin-Stout

Information privilege, or the idea that access to information can be based on an individual's status, affiliation, or power, is a growing issue among information seekers. While it impacts multiple aspects of the seeking process, information privilege remains largely out of focus in the academic community. When COVID-19 caused much of the country to shut down, including academic institutions, libraries, and other information hubs, awareness of information privilege became a cruel reality to many Wisconsinites who suddenly lost their access to essential resources. This session will examine proactive ways in which libraries can address the issue of information privilege to better serve their patrons.


Raving about WAVE

Val Magno, Fox Valley Technical College

In this talk, Val will discuss using the WAVE tool from as a minimum standard for library websites and vendor products. We all have to start somewhere, and WAVE catches the easy stuff like missing text for images. It also provides easy feedback for improving the vendor's product to meet the needs of a varied audience.  


Using Visual Literacy Skills to Identify Fake News
Christine Rickabaugh, Graduate Student, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Visual literacy is becoming a "must-have” tool in today’s business, academic, and technological world. In this presentation, attendees will be offered an overview of visual literacy basics and their importance in understanding contextual clues often embedded in images.  Attendees will learn how teaching visual literacy skills to higher education students can increase their ability to distinguish between authoritative news stories and disinformation. Visual literacy is a vital skill for media consumers of any age, as most of us get at least some of our news online. A toolkit of resources, ideas and information for current and future use will be shared.  


Accessible Accessibility: The Far-reaching Rewards of Connecting to the University’s Mission through LibGuide Accessibility

Jessica Rardin, User Services Intern, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 

Accessible LibGuides are integral to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries’ focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion and creating an outstanding learning environment for students. As a User Services MLIS student intern, Jessica advocated to the Instructional Design Librarian to create a guide that could be used to improve the consistency and usability of UWM Libraries' LibGuides, and, in Fall 2020, she completed work on a LibGuide focused on web accessibility. The Accessibility Tutorial and Self- Assessment is a training tool for incoming staff members, interns, and librarians who want to freshen-up their LibGuides and a heuristic for staff to intentionally assess the accessibility of the online learning content they create. As a reference tool and learning artifact, the checklist reminds librarians that they do not need to be an accessibility expert to create or implement accessible design. 


A Case for Inclusive Brainstorming Sessions

Leatha Miles-Edmonson, Research and Instruction Librarian, Marquette University  
Claire Dinkelman, Research and Instruction Librarian, Marquette University

In introductory level information literacy sessions, librarians conducted a brainstorming activity to build a search term. In one scenario, students view a stock photo of women of color at a conference table. Students provide 3-4 words that describe the photo; typically, the librarian discusses how the student suggestion of “teamwork” is related to “collaboration.” The librarian outlines how using multiple terms widens your pool of results as researchers use different terms for similar concepts. While running this activity with a diverse group, the suggestions were surprising, students offered different terms: “Black girl magic,” “black women,” and “women of color.” These words had not previously been suggested. Learn how this experience was incorporated into future information literacy sessions to now touch on new topic ideas like researcher identity. Learn what made this session such an interesting learning opportunity for students and librarians.  


Poster Session: Recordings

Will be available for viewing online before and throughout the conference. 

Open RN: Open Resources for Nursing

Vince Mussehl, Library Director, Chippewa Valley Technical College
Nic Ashman, Librarian, Chippewa Valley Technical College  

In the spring of 2019, Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) was awarded a $2.5 million grant as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Open Textbooks Pilot grant program. The grant, Open Resources for Nursing, or Open RN, is allowing us to create a more affordable experience for students enrolled in nursing courses by developing open nursing textbooks and related virtual reality scenarios. Visit our poster to learn more about where we are at with our project, hear some of our challenges, and discover more about how we are making nursing education more innovative and affordable for students. Stop by to see how you can get involved!


WLA Mentoring Program

Kati Schaller, Wisconsin Library Association Leadership Committee

Stop by this poster to learn more about the brand new WLA Mentorship Program! The WLA Mentorship Program, a free program for WLA members, is designed to provide encouragement, support, and guidance to library staff seeking professional growth through connections with experienced colleagues within a structured mentoring program. Mentees gain experience from knowledgeable library colleagues while becoming further involved in the statewide professional association. Mentors gain opportunities to give back to the profession, model volunteerism, and help influence the future of librarianship.


Create or Curate: An Environmental Scan of Digital Learning Object Development

Eric Kowalik, Instructional Designer, Marquette University
Heather James, Associate Dean of Scholarly Resources, Gonzaga University
Elizabeth Gibes, Parent Involvement Coordinator, Highland Community School 

A 2012 survey focused on the sharing of information literacy teaching materials found that current practice amongst many librarians creating digital resources is to find existing learning materials before developing their own. This survey sought to examine whether this continues to be true for librarians creating or reusing Digital Learning Objects (DLOs) and what best practices regarding design and development of DLOs were being used. The survey was distributed via listservs focused on information literacy and library information technology without targeting any type of institution, program, or discipline. Follow-up interviews were conducted with six volunteer participants in order to learn more about specific cases and institutional contexts. 


WLA Mentoring Program

Israa Abbas, Graduate Student, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The Sudanese community circumvents the issue of lack of freedom of speech with poetry. This historically significant mode became an important element of the recent revolution. Scholars argue that lyric poetry is a form of freedom, an escape for writers, and a form of engagement with social/political issues. Unfortunately, Sudanese literature is not well represented in American libraries compared to Eurocentric poetry. Scholars suggest that technology and literature, digital humanities, help us understand the concept of modern digital culture. This project identifies the importance of the expansion of awareness of Sudanese poetry in a digital form and how this elevates awareness of freedom of speech needed in Sudan. This archival project is crucial to diversify the libraries in America, by also bringing awareness to Sudanese literature and social issues. 


Exploring LatinX History in Milwaukee: An Embedded Librarianship Experiment and Digital Scholarship Collaboration

Mary Frenn, Research and Instructional Services Librarian, Marquette University
Taylor Ralph, Acquisitions & Liaison Librarian, Marquette University  

For three years, Marquette University Research & Instruction librarians have been embedded in a unique history course on American immigration specific to Wisconsin’s Latinx community. In collaboration with local middle school students, Marquette graduate and undergraduate students conduct in-depth research to create a digital presentation summarizing their findings. Throughout the experience, students work with various experts including MU History faculty, middle and high school staff, MU’s Digital Scholarship Lab, and the MU librarians who coordinate spaces, technologies, and information literacy sessions for students of various ages and skill levels. This poster will discuss the ideas librarians have implemented and experimented with throughout this innovative partnership, as well as describe the rewarding products and meaningful relationships that have formed as a result.


Collection Management Using Research Output: Small Risk with a High Reward

Alissa Fial, Research and Instructional Services Librarian, Marquette University

Library budgets and collection management have always been a balancing act for libraries. Journals get bundled, and costs continue at an astronomical rise.  Taking risks on collection management decisions is not encouraged, and there is little reward.  When difficult decisions need to be made, librarians take into consideration the needs of patrons and the library budget. While we cannot make everyone happy all the time, we can use specific methods in collection decision-making. This poster will demonstrate how using the database, Web of Science, allows for further data in the collection management process. The poster will showcase two processes: (1) reviewing publications where the faculty manuscripts were selected; and (2) reviewing the reference lists from those publications. Finally, the poster will demonstrate how the information gained was used in collection management decision making. 


Cultural Competence in Library Instruction: How to Teach the Teachers

Eric Ely, Graduate Student, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 

As institutions of higher education in the United States become increasingly diverse, academic librarians must continually strive toward cultural competence. Academic libraries, as sites of teaching and learning – considered broadly to include engagement beyond traditional library and information literacy instruction – provide frequent opportunities for academic librarians to engage with students. While most applicable to traditional library instruction, considering the more frequent and informal interactions between librarians and students puts an increased emphasis on the need for academic librarians to serve students in culturally appropriate ways. This poster examines the potential for the application of educational approaches to teaching and learning in academic libraries. It calls for the development and implementation of training opportunities for academic librarians regarding culturally appropriate teaching and pedagogy, in addition to more general equity, diversity and inclusion training. In short, it advocates for adequate teaching of the teachers to best serve diverse student populations. 


Creating Inclusion for Chronically Ill Library Workers

Sarah Young, Graduate Student, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 

Chronic illness is usually considered within the larger category of disability when creating workplace inclusion efforts. However, in the context of libraries, the percentage of librarians who identify as disabled is shockingly low. This can, in part, be explained by chronically ill people not identifying with the term “disabled.” There are chronically ill people working in libraries and lack of inclusion efforts around chronic illness can result in stigma, microaggressions, and pressure to pass as able-bodied. This poster identifies common experiences of library workers with chronic illness and describes proactive measures library leaders can take to build more inclusive workplaces for those with chronic illnesses. 


Slack-ing at the Library

Karlyn Schumacher, Access Services Librarian, Ripon College

Ripon College's Lane Library successfully moved away from email and adopted Slack as the primary mode of communication for circulation students in the spring of 2019. Slack is a simply-designed yet powerful instant messaging tool that allows users to organize conversations by channel, share files, and much more, making it ideal for collaboration. While our initial transition to Slack was tricky, the ability to keep everything in one place and quickly communicate with students has been invaluable. This poster will share the specifics of how we use Slack, why it works for us, and potential uses for Slack beyond the circulation desk.  


Piloting UX Tools in the Library Catalog

Robin Gee, Librarian, Edgewood College 

User Experience(UX) design is broadly defined as the sum of a series of interactions a person has with a product, service, or organization. While UX design can be applied to all parts of a library’s digital experience, patrons who use a library website primarily use it to access the library’s catalog and search the library’s databases. Those who are around college-age in the 18-29 age range are particularly likely to have done this. Edgewood College's library has access to 88 databases. Our catalog’s software was updated in 2017 but no UX testing has been done since. I designed a survey, card sort, and user tests to research how to improve students’ experience with the catalog and pilot them with an undergraduate class. Despite the unexpected switch to online-only classes due to COVID-19 during the Spring 2020 semester, I was successfully able to pilot the survey and card sort. A full report on the tools and budget necessary to implement this on a campus-wide level will be available for Edgewood College’s library to use when students are able to fully return to campus. 


Small Videos, Big Ideas: Creating Scalable Instruction Materials that Make an Impact

Heid Anoszko, Instructional Design Librarian, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Creating online instructional content for the 21st Century undergraduate is an intimidating task with or without wide-spread political unrest and a global pandemic.This poster will explore the lessons learned designing and implementing UWM Libraries' College-level Research Tutorial (completed in Summer of 2020). Assessment of the tutorial is still underway, but use data and initial feedback point to several high-impact practices for creating online learning content--especially videos. Learn approaches and production tricks to improve the quality and relevance of your online instructional assets.  


Attribution for Later Citation

Val Magno, Fox Valley Technical College

As Open Educational Materials are increasingly incorporated into the learning environment, we should advocate for attaching all relevant citation information to each work. The Title Author Source License (TASL) is the minimum that is needed in attribution - why not add the extra pieces to make it easier to create a citation?  My proposed template for this is to use an Attribution similar to the Citation that would be needed. Examples shown at 


Escaping the Boring Library Tour of Scavenger Hunt: How to Design a Unique Library Orientation Using the Escape Room Concept

Amy Manion, Director of Library Services, Waukesha County Technical College 

In the fall of 2019, the Waukesha County Technical College Library was asked to create a library scavenger hunt to fill one of the breakout session slots during the upcoming faculty instructional in-service program. When librarians asked the faculty professional development team if they could design something more engaging than a scavenger hunt, they said, “Sure; go for it.” Reference Librarian Elizabeth Miller set to work creating an interactive learning exercise based on the Escape Room concept. She had two overarching objectives in mind: 1) to familiarize participants with the library’s homepage, including the identification of useful links; and 2) to familiarize participants with the library’s physical space, including the identification of helpful onsite resources. The result was so successful that the library now conducts the Library Escape Room activity for students. This poster session will show how, with minimal cost and a little planning, this activity can be adapted to any library.


Closing Remarks & Poster Award Announcement: 12:00

Maureen Olle-LaJoie, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

The WAAL Board President will close the conference by announcing the poster award winners (one professional winner, one professional runner-up, and one student winner).  


WAAL Board & Member Discussion Opportunity: 12:05-12:30

Maureen Olle-LaJoie, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

This time will be led by the WAAL Board President to invite conference attendees to provide any feedback on their experience, or for discussion.