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Library Faculty Newsletter: Fall 2016

Library Faculty Newsletter

Walden Library's New Liaison to the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Meghan Testerman: Reference Librarian

In July, we welcomed Meghan Testerman as our newest Liaison Librarian to the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Meghan will be working directly with the School of Counseling, School of Psychology, and the Barbara Solomon School of Human Services and Social Work. 

Meghan earned her undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University in Political Science and her Master of Library Science and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She worked for Walden for seven years on the Institutional Review Board, and this past Spring joined the Library as a Reference Librarian before moving into this new role. She has also worked with two US Army Europe Libraries, the Providence Athenaeum, the Audubon Society of Rhode Island's Hathaway Library, and was recognized by the Archivist of the United States for her work with the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection housed at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

Meghan lived in Heidelberg, Germany for 7 years and currently resides in Minneapolis with her two dachshunds. 

Skype for Business and e-mail are the best ways to reach Meghan. Her email is Meghan.testerman@waldenu.edu She will also be attending the Atlanta residency in October, and is looking forward to working with you all!

Welcome to Our New Part Time Reference Librarians

Traci Avet-Hector: Reference Librarian

Traci Avet-Hector

Traci received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Nicholls State University and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of South Florida. She worked as a reference librarian in a public library system and as a medical librarian in a hospital, then spent seven years as the Virtual Reference Coordinator for Ask a Librarian, Florida's statewide virtual reference service. In addition to being a part-time Library Reference Specialist at Walden University, she is also a School Librarian for Terrebonne Parish and the User Services Librarian for ACI Information Group.

 

Kim Burton

Kim Burton

Kim lives in Oxford, Pennsylvania with her husband and two teenage daughters. She received her MLIS from Clarion University. Prior to returning to school, Kim worked as a paralegal for 25 years. It had always been a goal of Kim's to return to school for her MLIS. Although it took a little longer than she anticipated, she is very excited to start a new career in this profession. She spends most of her free time reading and hanging out with her family, their two cats, Harmony and Brutus, and dog, Orry.

 

Andrea Lemieux: Reference Librarian

Andrea Lemieux

Andrea has spent much of her library career working in public libraries where she developed a passion for connecting people with library services. After receiving her graduate degree from the University of Arizona, she worked as a librarian with the County of Los Angeles Public Library. In 2010, she moved to Colorado where she held a position as a campus librarian helping students with the research and writing process. A bit of a nerd at heart, outside of work Andrea can be found practicing a zombie tune on her ukulele, downloading genealogy records, or accompanying two preschoolers to story time at the public library.

Peer Review Controversy: Why It's Important to Evaluate Resources!

The PLOS One article from January (since retracted) caused waves when it casually mentioned a Creator God in reference to the design of the human hand. Regardless of one’s personal beliefs, presenting the assumption of a Creator was clearly not in keeping with the scope or intent of the study. It leaves us wondering, “Where did the peer review process go wrong?”.

The PLOS One website notes that “Once each manuscript has passed quality control, it is assigned to a member of the Editorial Board, who takes responsibility as the Academic Editor for the submission. The Academic Editor is responsible for conducting the peer-review process and for making a decision to accept, invite revision of, or reject the article.” as part of their peer review process. It goes on to say, “On average, all accepted articles have been reviewed by 2.9* experts (one Academic Editor and 1.9* external peer reviewers).” Also, authors pay PLOS One a fee to publish their work.

This controversy supplies an important lesson for all scholars; peer review looks different at different journals but the quality of that review does come down to fallible humans. A single peer reviewed article on a topic cannot be taken as the final word, nor should it ever be. While we want students to understand the value of peer review, we also want them to think beyond this one quality indicator to evaluate resources. We want them to: think critically about bias, corroborate the evidence across multiple articles, pay attention to the times an article has been cited, and know the difference between a single research study and a literature review.

Students are up against weekly deadlines and often contact the Library to find articles to back up their assertions, not taking the time to evaluate what they have found. Librarians and faculty alike can show students that taking time to evaluate resources will help them to become better scholars.

Evaluating Resources Archived Webinar

With all the information available to you, how do you know which type of resource is the most appropriate and reliable for your research? This webinar covers the differences between publication formats, evaluating and choosing information to meet your needs, and identifying primary, secondary, scholarly and popular sources.

(removed video link 11/9/2021)


 

Doctoral Student Referral

If you have a doctoral student who is struggling with research, information literacy, or any other library related skill, please fill out the Student Referral Form. We will reach out to the student and do our best to assist them. 

Library Lab Suggestions

Is there a research topic you feel your students are struggling with? Or an assignment that requires intense and in depth research? Perhaps there's a resource that students are struggling to navigate? Please provide us with some suggestions for library lab topics you'd like to see us cover and we'd be happy work with you to create it.

Library Usage & Student Grades

The Library partnered with Walden University Business Intelligence (BI) to begin looking at the relationship between library use and academic performance. Our preliminary analysis shows a positive correlation between library use and grade point average.

To identify the population examined, the Library compiled a list of 23 courses that featured library research assignments. This list of courses spanned all degree levels and university Colleges. The population examined was the set of students enrolled in any of these courses in the past year (Spring 2015 through Winter 2016).

For each student BI collected data on library use in terms of how many separate days in the term the student logged in to the library. They also collected their numerical grade from the course.

Students were grouped according to how many days they visited the library. BI then calculated the average term GPA for each “days visited” group. 

The chart below shows the results of the data. The groups of students who visited the library on more days of the term were the groups with higher average grades for the term.  

Text alternative for Average term GPA for days visited the Library chart

This is an introductory analysis of available data. More can be done to tease out possible intervening variables. However, we are pleased to find this positive correlation and will continue to refine our analysis.

Introductory Webinars

Help your students get their research off on the right foot! Our Librarians have developed webinars aimed at giving students an introduction to the databases and resources most useful for research in their program. These 30-minute sessions help students navigate the website, learn about the databases most relevant for their work, and start searching. The sessions are offered live at term starts, and recordings are available any time. See our schedule of upcoming Library webinars.

If there isn’t a live session on offer, then scroll down and explore the recordings; choose a subject area in the list of our webinar recordings – look for “Introduction to [subject] Research in the Walden Library”

Have any questions about our webinars or a topic that you’d like us to tackle? Contact our Manager of Information Literacy and Instruction, Susan Stekel:  susan.stekel@waldenu.edu

Please see Upcoming Library Labs & Webinars below!


 

Upcoming Library Labs & Webinars

Please feel free to share these library labs with your students!

Featured Library Resource

Finding theorists and their works is a challenging process! The Theorists and Theories guide serves to assist you or your students with the exploratory process of identifying theorists, finding what they have published, and acquiring it.


 

Fun Corner

Carla Hayden

The Senate has confirmed the longtime head of Baltimore’s library system to be the next Librarian of Congress. She is the first woman and the first African-American to hold the position.

President Barack Obama had nominated Hayden to be the 14th Librarian of Congress in the institution’s 214-year history. See more on the story from PBS.

Faculty Feedback

Please provide us with any suggestions about the newsletter or any other ideas you may have!

Contact Us

Please contact the Library at libraryliaison@waldenu.edu if you have any questions, content ideas or are having difficulty accessing newsletter content.