VALA2020 SC1 Yamaguchi

Librarian and coding: a new job opportunity

VALA2020 SC1
Tuesday 11 February 2020, 2:45 – 3:50

Masami Yamaguchi
  • Griffith University

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Ongoing technological enhancement is providing information professionals opportunities to engage in continuing professional development to keep up with new demand and challenges. Technology competencies are required in many parts of librarians’ role. For example, emerging technology has transformed the research landscape from 50 years ago. Now researchers in all academic disciplines are working with big and complex data. They require knowledge of working with data, what tools to use, and where to save data; these are all facets of the research data lifecycle with which librarians can assist.

Academic libraries, in particular, are evolving new services around research data to meet their clients’ needs. This means that ideally librarians need to acquire knowledge and skills regarding digital scholarship, including tools, storage methods, high-performing computers (HPC) and some level of coding to clean, analyse and/or visualise data.

This session looks at the example of a learning and teaching focused librarian within Library and Learning Services (LLS), Griffith University, who, being interested to learn Python coding, developed a small Python script as part of their professional development. The script reduced a significant amount of time required for a learning analytics task. It also reduced the risk of introducing human error.

Not all librarians are required to be able to code. Nevertheless, investing time to develop coding skills can have positive returns to the organisation as it has the potential to improve the data quality and efficiency of internal processes. The organisation may not recognise the benefit of librarians’ digital skills – yet.

Coding skills can be a good addition to core library skills, which can be beneficial to the organisation. To encourage librarians to develop coding skills, creating a new job title, such as coding librarian, research software librarian, or research tools librarian, could be a solution as a job title would make clear and easy to recognise the required skill set. Librarians’ roles have been evolving to accommodate technological transformation and clients’ needs. A new job title would contribute to raising the awareness of the importance of these skills, expanding professional development opportunities, and diversifying librarians’ career paths.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.

VALA2020 SC2 Shaw

Smart City Wide Collaboration – bringing a city together with Augmented Reality

VALA2020 SC2
Tuesday 11 February 2020, 2:45 – 3:50

Kerrie Shaw
  • City of Newcastle

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Augmented reality in the city, all over the city! Promoting and displaying the cultural and heritage collections to the people using the spaces. Engaging with the people, using the collection outside the exhibition spaces, outside the building, in another reality! I HAD to get a job with a council whose goal this was! I wanted in. In March 2018 the position of Heritage Collections Digitisation Specialist with City of Newcastle Council was advertised. The door to my nirvana had opened and I leapt through it.

My presentation is a story of innovation; of bringing Newcastle’s heritage collections to life and the collaboration required to make it happen. This is a story of two strategies, Smart City and Library, being the catalyst for connecting Newcastle’s GLAM sector. It’s a story of experimentation, of learning and moving on; of failure. It’s a tale of how to regroup and reassess, fail again and then finally succeed with a product that shines.

To collaborate across the GLAM sector within your local government organisation can be a rewarding but interesting journey. To then add collaboration with other council directorates such as tourism, heritage planning, indigenous liaison, events management, IT, GIS, digital enterprises and smart city working groups is a whole new arena. Being new to the organisation had its advantages but also its problems.

By the time the conference dates are upon us the City of Newcastle will have an App with AR experiences all over the city. Experiences that have been built by council’s GLAM sector. These experiences will tell Newcastle’s stories, highlight its history and engage the users. Public art will come alive, artists will tell their stories and the past will breathe again, in another reality.

By using the collections held at the Local History Library and Museum we have not only added another layer to the history of the city but we have enabled access to items that are not usually seen and provided a platform for these items to have their time in the sun. By using content already in existence as commissioned for a VR experience by the city we have been able to quickly, easily and cost effectively activate several areas which otherwise could have taken years due to cultural sensitivities, logistics and budgets.

The inception, ongoing maintenance and growth of this project will be an example of technology integration, heritage display, public engagement, and of goodwill and co-operation that can be used as an example of success in collaboration.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.

VALA2020 SC3 Lock

The Trials of Transcription: Adventures in best practice video and audio transcription for accessibility

VALA2020 SC3
Tuesday 11 February 2020, 2:45 – 3:50

Kirsty Lock
  • Wyndham City

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In 2018 Wyndham City Libraries embarked on a new community engagement project, Live with the Librarians, a quarterly Facebook livestream with a panel of librarians to discuss and recommend book titles to the viewing public. The panels include four library members of staff who discuss books for thirty minutes to an hour, and sometimes address questions raised by the community during the live feed.

Questions of accessibility were quickly raised after the first broadcast, especially with a lower sound quality than we had anticipated (a situation remedied by the second livestream with purchases of new AV equipment). Shorter ‘teaser’ content prior to the broadcast had included captions or a transcription of content; however, we found the methods used to ensure accessible content for these posts was not viable for a longer format – being too time intensive and using too many staff resources. With a team committed to making content accessible for distribution, third party solutions were investigated however we quickly hit financial and procedural roadblocks.

At the time of writing this abstract, Wyndham City Libraries have hit a roadblock in terms of budget and are navigating options to add closed captions and/or a transcript of our library panels. We hope to find a suitable economically viable solution and develop a set of guidelines and instructions for further programs.

This session seeks to explore our journey with accessible audio-visual content, and will focus on issues such as:

  • Pitching accessibility solutions to leadership teams
  • Finance – what to do when an inexpensive project blows out past the initial budget
  • Interpreting WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0 standards
  • Best practice – how do you decide when you have done enough?
  • Why accessibility?

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.

VALA2020 SC4 Warburton

A picture is worth a thousand words: Copyright literacy – a key digital capability for scholarly communication

VALA2020 SC4
Wednesday 12 February 2020, 2:45 – 3:50

Jennifer Warburton
  • University of Melbourne
Wilfred Villareal
  • University of Melbourne

Please tag your comments, tweets, and blog posts about this session: #vala2020 #sc4

View the presentation slides here:


Digital channels offer researchers a range of opportunities for communicating the complexities of their research to broad audiences. Copyright literacy is an essential part of scholarly communication and is key to open practices in research. Copyright law is not aligned with how people typically use and share digital content on the web. Content sharing is ubiquitous, fallacies around what’s in the public domain persist, country-based copyright law, and a plethora of online digital tools (some with tricky licensing conditions) make the digital landscape a minefield for the unwary researcher.

Copyright literacy is a key digital capability for scholarly communication in a digital world.

What better way to deliver copyright literacy to early career researchers than via a professional and engaging competition that builds and applies digital capabilities, requires copyright-compliant entries, and culminates in a (copyright- compliant!) digital showcase of the finalists.

This talk will use the online International Visualise Your Thesis Competition for graduate researchers (PhD, MPhil, and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidates) as an interesting
case-study of the depth of naivety around fair-use of digital content sourced on the internet. It will explore common misconceptions and pitfalls for entrants sourcing 3rd party-created content and chart the development of explicit competition guidelines and bespoke resources to support both the students participating in the competition and the competition administrators, located in Australia and overseas. And it will pose the questions:

How can universities encourage a fair use mindset, and copyright due-diligence, to assist researchers avoid unauthorised use and copyright violations of content created by others?

And how can content creators take steps to protect their work?

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.

VALA2020 SC5 Howard

Traversing the Continuum of Virtual Reality: from 360 Video to Augmented Reality. A look at the Present and Future from the Perspective of a Library and a Vendor

VALA2020 SC5
Wednesday 12 February 2020, 2:45 – 3:50

Sarah Howard
  • Queensland University of Technology
David Parker
  • ProQuest

Please tag your comments, tweets, and blog posts about this session: #vala2020 #sc5

View the presentation slides here:


Immersive content for higher education and beyond exists along a continuum that correlates ease of creation, prevalence of availability and cost to deploy.

Virtual Reality, 360 video, 3D objects, and Augmented Reality may be accessible on a multitude of platforms (freely available or costly) using mobile devices (low cost or expensive hardware). Libraries and publishers are progressing along this continuum at equal pace, but with a shared awareness that in the not-too-distant future the continuum will compress, and content will be accessible as easily, or more easily, than the content is today.

What challenges does this pose for the library and its industry partners? Join us in exploring this question as Sarah Howard of Queensland University of Technology and David Parker of ProQuest share where QUT and ProQuest are on this continuum at present, and the risks and opportunities to traverse thinking 10 years out.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.

VALA2020 SC6 Cain

Transition, Transformation and Partnerships: Collaborating for student success

VALA2020 SC6
Wednesday 12 February 2020, 2:45 – 3:50

Kat Cain
  • Deakin University
Dr. Francesca Bussey
  • Deakin University
Naomi Nirupa David
  • Deakin University
Dr Natalie Robertson
  • Deakin University

Please tag your comments, tweets, and blog posts about this session: #vala2020 #sc6


Transitioning into university can be challenging because success is predicated on the capacity to adapt – to a new culture, to new people and to critical new skills needed for academic achievement. This can be made more difficult still, where students have significant family and work commitments, and/or varied experiences of education. Where learning is predominantly online, the challenges can seem insurmountable.

A Transition and Transformation project team at Deakin are piloting a scaffolded series of digital interventions and corresponding pedagogies into the core curriculum of an early years Bachelor of Education course. The work is grounded in building a sense of connection and belonging in students, whilst simultaneously developing key literacies and threshold concepts so that they serve as learning opportunities, rather than roadblocks to understanding.

Drawing on longitudinal studies at the local and international level, interventions have focused on three distinct areas:

• Digital and academic literacies: Embedding practical skills to support assessment

• Threshold concepts: Unpacking difficult but crucial discipline-specific concepts

• Belonging: Building cohort cohesion and teacher presence through Cloud Practice and Cloud Conferences.

This course-wide approach is a complex long-term project with multiple stakeholders, technologies and outcome requirements. For deep learning outcomes to be possible, a holistic approach to intentional curriculum design is required. Core to the current and ongoing success of this pilot has been a collaborative six-way divisional partnership using the combined skills of academic developers, librarians, academics, learning advisors, learning designers, and digital developers. In addition to an expanded and integrated provision of academic resources, a community of practice has emerged from this project. Through merging relationships in different areas of expertise, the project team have experienced personal transformational learning as practitioners that has significantly developed their ability to design for students.

This session will explore the complexities of this collaborative approach, observed outcomes, and processes underpinning resource design.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.

VALA2020 SC7 Kerbyson

Cambridge University Press: Publishing in an Open Access World

VALA2020 SC7
Thursday 13 February 2020, 1:45 – 3:25

Caroline Kerbyson
  • Cambridge University Press

Please tag your comments, tweets, and blog posts about this session: #vala2020 #sc7

View the presentation slides here:


With Open Access publishing gathering momentum across the globe and with academics needing novel tools to support their research, publishers are under more pressure than ever to adapt their strategy to fit in with the requirements of our academics.

Cambridge University Press puts our customers at the heart of everything we do from product development to embracing a transition to a more inclusive publishing model with a focus on Open Access research.

This talk will be an opportunity to hear about what we are doing to support librarians and academics in this changing landscape as well as to hear about new products we have developed through our customer first strategy.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.

VALA2020 SC8 Lewis

How the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is pioneering global open access and giving back to its community

VALA2020 SC8
Thursday 13 February 2020, 1:45 – 3:25

Paul Lewis
  • Royal Society of Chemistry

Please tag your comments, tweets, and blog posts about this session: #vala2020 #sc8

View the presentation slides here:


This session will provide transferrable knowledge and insights on how a leading learned society publisher is meeting the OA challenge and delivering value back to its community.

Across the scholarly communications landscape there is an increasing drive towards open access publishing, from individual advocates to larger organised efforts such as cOAlition S and their proposal for accelerating the transition, Plan S.

Plan S can only be successful if it rolls out globally – but researchers in different regions have very different needs and attitudes when it comes to open access. A recent survey of chemical science authors by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) found wide variation in their current engagement with open access, their motivations for publishing venue choice, and their opinions of who is driving – and who should drive – a global transition to open access.

The RSC is a not-for-profit learned society and publisher. Its overriding mission is to advance excellence in the chemical science. We have been a significant driving force in open access chemical sciences publishing, and around a quarter of the ~35,000 articles we published last year were open access. Recent advances include:

  • publishing the largest Gold open access journal in the chemical sciences, RSC Advances, which last year published over 4,600 articles
  • making our flagship journal, Chemical Science, free to read and free to publish, with the RSC covering the article processing charges of this journal as part of its charitable aims to further the chemical sciences
  • launching our third new fully open access journal, Nanoscale Advances, in 2018
  • developing a Read & Publish model in partnership with our customers – a recognised stepping‐stone in the transition to open access
  • not requiring authors to transfer copyright for any of the articles they publish with us (subscription or open access); our Gold open access journals publish under the CC‐BY license
  • launching ChemRxiv, a chemistry preprint server co-owned with the American Chemical Society, the German Chemical Society and other not-for-profit organisations, provided free of charge to authors and readers

Learned society publishers like the RSC have an important and particular perspective: our publishing services have been shown to provide clear return on investment to researchers than commercial publishers, and our surpluses go straight back into supporting the research community through conferences, grants, recognition, careers support, public advocacy and so much more. Recent flagship charitable activities for the community include:

  • Science Horizons, a comprehensive report on the global R&D strengths and opportunities in the next 10-15 years for the chemical sciences, based on engagements with more than 750 leading scientists worldwide
  • Bringing together chemistry organisations from Commonwealth nations to form a Federation of Commonwealth Chemistry Societies, enabling stronger global representation from more countries
  • Leading efforts to make chemistry more inclusive and celebrating our diverse community, including reports and campaigns on women’s progression in academia, the experiences of LGBT+ scientists and our recent analysis of gender bias in chemistry publishing.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.

VALA2020 SC9 Murphy

Building librarians’ skills in curriculum development and learning design

VALA2020 SC9
Thursday 13 February 2020, 1:45 – 3:25

Jennifer Murphy
  • Victoria University Melbourne
Sarika Singh
  • Victoria University

Please tag your comments, tweets, and blog posts about this session: #vala2020 #sc9

View the presentation slides here:


With change comes opportunity, and The VU Way provides opportunities for librarians to engage with the learning and teaching agenda at Victoria University, Melbourne, in new and exciting ways. Librarians have been collaborating and partnering with academics for decades whether it be teaching, sourcing resources or unit development. Through The VU Way strategic direction, librarians are now formally embedded in curriculum development with academic staff, and critical partners alongside learning designers in the re-design and development process of undergraduate curriculum. The systematic re-design of all 1st Year units of study began in 2017 continuing through to 3rd Year units in 2019 ready for 2020 delivery.

This partnership extends the sphere of VU Library influence and knowledge as we work with the language of academia in discussing learning outcomes, assessments, and scaffolding of student skills in Unit Design Teams. Academic librarian competencies such as understanding of learning & teaching theory and practice, working with learning management systems, and digital content creation are identified in Leong & Woods (2018), and through this project there has been opportunities for staff in personal and professional development in these areas. There have also been opportunities to engage in conversations about copyright and licensing, and to formalise the use of reading list software into the online study spaces. Librarians at Victoria University have discipline knowledge, are outcome and student-focused, known as trusted professionals, and work within a library environment which encourages innovations and professional development in digital technologies.

The engagement with Unit Design Teams has led further opportunities for the librarians tasked with the role of Learning Designers as the University sought support from outside the central Learning and Teaching Team for experienced and knowledgeable staff. The role of Learning Designer (Educational Developer) includes the elements of: 1) assisting with the design of sustainable, high quality learning and assessment activities, incorporating evidence-based design principles; 2) building staff capability in the appropriate use of digital tools to enhance teaching and curriculum design practices; 3) developing flexible, activity based student learning experiences. (Victoria University, 2019).

Stepping outside of the comfort zone provided opportunities to build new skills for the future. Creating visually stimulating and interactive learning objects to engage students with the content and designed to assist with student retention of the subject matter became the role of librarians as learning designers. Collaboration expanded language and competencies to build assessments, create rubrics, and set up quizzes and gradebooks.

Librarians need to be adaptive and ready to meet the needs of future students and academic institutions which are disrupting and changing the teaching landscape. Rather than focusing on position titles, capacity to adapt, innovate, problem-solve and communicate has temporarily led several librarians down an unexpected pathway splitting their time between Librarian and Learning Designer roles. While it is difficult to predict the future of Library and Information Management roles, seizing opportunities when presented will certainly place these librarians in a great position.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.

VALA2020 SC10 McDonald

The Future of Research: Hunting for Relevant Content in a Sea of Information

VALA2020 SC10
Thursday 13 February 2020, 1:45 – 3:25

Hamish McDonald
  • Yewno, Inc

Please tag your comments, tweets, and blog posts about this session: #vala2020 #sc10

View the presentation slides here:


Libraries are the epicenter of the University community. This session aims to explore and show evidence-based information about how AI can support research, help Universities manage their repositories, enhance exploration, and promote visual learning through data visualization. Attendees will understand how AI technology works to accomplish these goals, while gaining insights through real-life use cases where this technology has been successfully applied.

One of the greatest challenges librarians face is supporting research and aiding with resource discovery. As the breadth of digitized titles grows, “keyword search” becomes insufficient. Librarians are having to look for more ways to navigate their massive repositories, connect their communities and surface relevant texts for their researchers, faculty and students.

Another challenge is evaluating the quality of content. Open Access is being chosen by a growing number of research authors due to its high visibility, low cost of publishing, opportunities for collaboration, and power to start a cross-disciplinary conversation. There certainly is a great deal of value to be found in OA, but the OA corpus can be a very problematic space for discovery, making finding quality and relevancy difficult in the mass of poorly described OA literature.

In this session, we will see how Artificial Intelligence is now empowering librarians to manage their collections and navigate open access material. Visualization plays a significant role when sorting through massive amounts of information, particularly across disciplines. Where the linear display of traditional keyword search falls short, AI tools prioritise data visualization.

Semantic Visualisation tools connect concepts in and between documents giving the user the power to navigate to what is most relevant using a visually engaging knowledge graph.

In this session we will demonstrate how knowledge graphs work to tell a story with data, enhance visual learning and encourage interdisciplinary research.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.