Thank you for attending our first-ever virtual conference!

In "normal" times, the members of the MnPALS consortium gather in person for a few days of knowledge sharing. This virtual conference is a way to provide some of the same knowledge-sharing while opening up our doors to our colleagues from other libraries and consortia.

Enjoy this opportunity to learn from each other!
Johnna Horton, Executive Director of PALS


Please take a few minutes to watch this welcome video. It includes a brief tour of this resource guide.

Click here to read the code of conduct for this event.

Reminder: Check your email for the Zoom links to the sessions.

If you need help accessing a session, please email the PALS Office: palsweb@mnsu.edu.

How to use this resource guide

The Welcome tab contains a brief written message from Johnna Horton, Executive Director of PALS, as well as our Minnesota State land acknowledgment, logistical information regarding sessions, and the email address for support if you run into any difficulties.

The Vignettes tab contains links to each pre-recorded video submission originally proposed as "lightning talks." These videos are all under 10 minutes and share your colleagues' experiences around a specific topic. 

The tabs labeled with the days of the week contain the information about that day's sessions, including time of the session, presenter(s), and a description. The links to the sessions were sent separately to the email address under which you registered, so if you need help gaining access and can't find those original emails, please contact us at the email listed in the Logistics box. Note that all sessions will be recorded unless otherwise stated in the session description.

Recordings and materials for the presentations will be linked to the appropriate session by April 16, 2021 and will remain available for one year.

Land Acknowledgement

Minnesota State acknowledges the land and the tribal nations upon whose land this work is being accomplished. We acknowledge that we are on Dakota land. We recognize the Native Nations of this region who have called this place home over thousands of years including the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe), Lakota, Nakota, Ho-Chunk, and Cheyenne. We acknowledge the ongoing colonialism and the legacies of violence, displacement, migration, and settlement that foreground the formation of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. We commit to advancing critical efforts to understand and address these legacies, including the larger conversation of reparations, repatriation, and redress urgently needed for the scope of ethical acknowledgment to begin in earnest.

Planning/Reviewing Committee Members

Special thanks to Ann Gannon, Bethel University, for designing the conference logo.

Erin Balerud, Minnesota State University Moorhead
Adam Bezdicek, Anoka Technical College and Pine Technical College
Beth Clausen, Metropolitan State University
Colleen Deel, Bemidji State University
Robin Ewing, St. Cloud State University
Johnna Horton, PALS
Scott Kaihoi, Bethel University
Dani Kroon, PALS
Randi Madisen, Century College
Dianne (DeeDee) Narum, Bemidji State University
David Philip Norris, St. Catherine University
Zorian Sasyk, Metropolitan State University
Etta Thornburg, PALS

Thank you all for your hard work!

Technical Support Provided by PALS

Thank you to:
Gretchen Cords
Carrie Curie
Sonja Eilertson
Jill Holman
Johnna Horton
Dani Kroon
Perry Madden
Etta Thornburg


Available for Asynchronous Viewing and Q&A via Slack

In order to participate in Q&As with the creators of these vignettes who have chosen to use Slack, please join the PALS Slack at https://join.slack.com/t/mnpals/shared_invite/zt-npxi1hle-oj17sYq2w44H3aOoLwxHog (copy and paste into your address bar) and click the + next to Channels to add the channels you want. If you already have joined the PALS Slack, use the direct links to the channels for each vignette.

Dipping a Toe in Discord
Presenter: Mary Muehlberg, Minnesota State University Moorhead

In lieu of a face-to-face library instruction session (and in addition to a more traditional recorded instruction video), I was invited into a Computer Science course’s Discord server (a group-chatting platform built for gamers and used by all types of communities) to provide library instruction and answer questions. How does it perform as a library instruction tool? Is Discord a place for an academic librarian?

Opening up access to Open Access: Integrating Unpaywall in Alma/Primo
Presenter: Pat Lienemann, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Unpaywall is a service to assist libraries in managing journal collections. Through utilizing the Unpaywall database, it is possible to provide access to additional OA journal articles through Primo without having to activate any OA collections in Alma.  This session will cover the Unpaywall database, an overview of how to implement Unpaywall in Alma, and a demonstration of how access is provided through Primo.

MnDOT Library's journey into ebooks via cloudLibrary
Presenters: Marilee Tuite and Sheila Hatchell, MN Department of Transportation
Link to slides
https://mnpals.slack.com/archives/C01T9H2G6EQ (Will respond to questions on April 8 and April 9)

This vignette will show how a small special library pivoted during the pandemic to make resources more readily available to MnDOT employees around the state when most are working from home. The ebook selections were made to support MnDOT’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, the employee resource groups, the Leadership Development program, as well as general professional development.

Personal Librarians: Evolution of an Embedded Library Support Model at BSU
Presenter: Pete McDonnell, Bemidji State University
Link to slides

In early 2019, BSU Library faculty developed a “Personal Librarian” program to provide enhanced outreach to transfer students.  Cue the global pandemic and a rapid switch to remote instruction!  The disruption caused by the pandemic actually provided us with an opportunity to quickly pivot the original program into an embedded model of library support for students enrolled in TRIO College Orientation courses.   In this vignette, I’ll share more about how the Personal Librarian program has evolved and changed over the last year, modifications we’re planning to make for Fall semester, as well as tips on how to maximize collaborations with other student support offices.

LibWizardry during COVID-19: Designing Interactive IL Tutorials with LibWizard
Presenter: Dawn Wing, Metropolitan State University

"LibWizardry during COVID19" will provide a brief overview of sample LibWizard information literacy tutorials designed for a 5-credit research & writing intensive online course, and for subject-specific courses at Metropolitan State University. The vignette will include suggestions for developing hands-on, student-centered learning activities as well as practical tips on interface design and tutorial navigation. Lastly, Dawn will share possibilities of using LibWizard for supporting student success in collaboration with Multicultural, American Indian and Retention Services staff.

Getting Alma and OCLC to Save You Time and Typos
Presenter: Elizabeth Tuckwood, Minnesota State Law Library

The Minnesota State Law Library catalogs for six county law libraries as well as its own locations. To make this as easy as possible, we’ve been experimenting with customized import profiles and holdings templates in Alma, and text strings in OCLC Connexion Client. It takes some work to set everything up, but using them saves time and reduces the chances of making mistakes when entering information. This presentation demonstrates some of the possibilities both with default information and making one-time changes as needed.


9:00 am: Equity Work in the Academic Library

Presenters: Jennifer Sippel, Amanda Mills, and Rebecca March, Minneapolis College
Moderator: David Norris, St. Catherine University
Link to recording and session materials

Minneapolis College Library staff have made a commitment to explore anti-racism and equity in the library through educating ourselves and formulating actions or practices that transform the way our library works. As a central hub of student facing services and resources, we can be a powerful partner in this work on campus. Some of the campus initiatives we have played a role in include: Get Out the Vote, Media Literacy/Disinformation Education, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and anti-racism in Librarianship. In this presentation, we will share resources, as well as some of the Libguides, programs and work we’ve done this year.

10:00 am: Utilizing Cascading Style Sheets Code to Improve the Primo VE Experience For Our Users

Presenter: William Straub, Hamline University
Moderator: Scott Kaihoi, Bethel University
Link to recording and session materials

The Primo VE user interface (UI) can be improved for our users with some basic Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) code.  In this session we will look at some methods for enhancing the VE UI including adding CSS to VE labels within Alma, deploying CSS code via the Configure Views > Manage Customization Package, and using the free built-in Primo Studio.

2:00 pm: Assessing and Gathering Feedback of the One-Shot Presentation

Presenter: Catherine Ford, Minnesota State
Moderator: Carrie Curie, PALS
Link to recording and session materials

Librarians frequently are asked to provide a one-shot presentation for various classes, and Covid 19 has not changed this; research lessons and other library presentations too have transitioned to the online environment. When presenting face to face, it was easier to read student cues of understanding about the presentation information, but how to check in with students and receive feedback online? Did they take away the key pieces of information? Will they be able to apply this knowledge and skills when needed for the assignment? This may have been challenging previously and feels now even more complicated. This session will provide both a pedagogical framework for presenting a one-shot and practical strategies for assessing student understanding during and after the presentation. Additionally, learn strategies to gather student overall feedback for reflection and revision for future presentations.

3:00 pm: Jazzing Up the Books : Collection Management and Visual Rhetoric

Presenter: Abe Nemon, Gustavus Adolphus College
Moderator: Dani Kroon, PALS
Link to recording and session materials

I analogize current debates over how to manage underused print collections to the ancient debates between the philosophers (who value the naked truth) and the sophists (who advocate the use of persuasive techniques). Using my experience weeding and revitalizing a liberal arts college library's British literature collection, I show how principles drawn from classical rhetoric can guide our decisions about what to weed and what to add, and how we can use collection management as a tool to reintroduce and promote underutilized parts of our collections for the benefit of faculty and students.


9:00 am: Embedding Chat Across Your Web Presence

Presenter: Scott Kaihoi, Bethel University
Moderator: Adam Bezdicek, Anoka Technical College and Pine Technical College
Link to recording and session materials

In the winter of 2020, the Bethel University Library streamlined and redeployed its chat service across its web presence to feature it more prominently. Patron use of the chat service increased dramatically in the year that followed, and the library became better able to serve a portion of its user base whose usage of the library’s services had been declining. This presentation will use the changes the Bethel library made (and reasons behind them) to help attendees think about whether their own chat deployment could benefit from similar adjustments.

10:00 am: How the Pandemic has Changed the Use of Copyrighted Works

Presenter: Gary Hunter, Minnesota State
Moderator: Johnna Horton, PALS
Link to the recording and session materials

Update on how the pandemic environment has impacted the use of copyrighted works at Minnesota State colleges and universities. Topics include how the TEACH Act and Fair Use can help faculty show movies, use of 3D scanners, and apply fair use in a responsible manner for online teaching. 

2:00 pm: Holistic Collection Analysis in Alma

Subtitle: Utilizing Note Fields and Alma Analytics for Better Collection Development

Presenter: Zorian M. Sasyk, Metropolitan State University
Moderator: Jean Kramer, Minnesota State University Moorhead
Link to recording and session materials

This presentation will discuss a project at Metropolitan State University to utilize Alma e-journal and ebook holdings subject data to perform holistic collection analysis. Specifically, the presentation will detail how subject data from Alma Community Zone MARC records can be retrieved via Analytics, used to assign subject and academic department categories, and then be re-uploaded back into Alma portfolio Note fields for further Analytics use. Project background, a brief technical walkthrough, the end product, and a discussion of the benefits and drawbacks of the process will be featured, as well as audience Q&A time permitting.

3:00 pm: Implementing Ebooks for Course Reserves

Presenters: Pat Lienemann and Joe Holtermann, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Moderator: Stacy Voeller, Minnesota State University Moorhead
*Session will not be recorded

Our library response to the COVID-19 health crisis led to greater emphasis on vendor-hosted ebooks to support online learning. We used Alma for ordering and payment functions and responded with an efficient method for selecting and acquiring ebooks. Our initiative also impacted our Course Reserves program and led to us to pilot different ways of presenting ebook content to library patrons.

In a spirit of reflective practice, we will summarize our experience and consider several questions that arose from our efforts – to evaluate our work and to anticipate how we can contribute to library objectives in the future.


9:00 am: Alma oh Alma how might thee help me?

Presenters: Rachel Turner, David Schuster, Caryl Ward, and Sarah Maximiek, Binghamton University
Moderator: Ed Warga, St. Cloud State University
Link to recording

Migrations are never easy, but they can provide great opportunities for growth and positive change. In migrating from Aleph to Alma, the Binghamton University Libraries found that while Aleph did many things, Alma has allowed us to understand how we can integrate existing functionalities that were known in Aleph but not easily taken advantage of. Some of these functionalities have let us automate processes; these include ordering API's with GOBI and Proquest; Invoicing for GOBI, Proquest, EBSCO; and now MARC record delivery with OCLC Cataloging partners. Come hear how three units (Acquisitions, Cataloging, and Systems) collaborated to implement automated functionality that has allowed the Binghamton University Libraries to keep up with a hiring freeze and 3 retirements.

10:00 am: ERM: Where to start when things don't work

Presenters: Annalis Luck, Minnesota State University, Mankato and Carrie Curie, PALS
Moderator: William Straub, Hamline University
Link to recording and session materials

Attend and experience a brief tour of ERM troubleshooting. The presenters will start with some beginning troubleshooting steps you can take, tips on when you should send tickets to PALS/Ex Libris, common issues for vendors, and general cleanup recommendations that can help you avoid troubleshooting. This presentation is for a general audience and those new to ER troubleshooting. The presenters will not be covering advanced troubleshooting steps or discuss all scenarios you might encounter.

2:00 pm: Streamlining Streaming

Subtitle: A Workflow for Streaming Video Requests with a Small Number of Academic Library Personnel and a Limited Budget

Presenters: Xavier Kneedler-Shorten (he/him), Tammy Ravas (she/her), University of Montana
Moderator: Laurie Jorgensen, Pine Technical College
Link to recording and session materials

The pandemic served to amplify the need for streaming videos as quarantine restrictions were implemented on physical materials. Instructor requests for streaming video dramatically increased and only a small number of personnel had time to process them. Additionally, obtaining streaming versions of films can be difficult due to copyright, licensing, and budgetary considerations.

To handle the increased number of requests for streaming videos, library employees across several departments devised a new workflow as well as an online request form for instructors. The work of personnel across the library to create this service and maintain its functionality showcases libraries’ ability to work together as an organization to effectively serve our users.

3:00 pm: Tailored to Fit: Embedding Library Instruction in Asynchronous Programs

Presenter: Dan Hoiland, Concordia University, St. Paul
Moderator: Ann Zawistoski, University of St. Thomas
Link to recording and session materials

In this session, learn more about how one Concordia University, St. Paul instruction librarian built scaffolded instruction throughout the university’s graduate-level MBA program as it shifted to primarily asynchronous course offerings. Through a series of topical videos and modules within course-specific research guides, MBA students have access to tailored research instruction embedded with their course. These scaffolded guides provide a sustainable model to ensure students maintain a connection with the library, even as the program continues to shift and grow.


9:00 am: Minitex Resource Sharing Presentation

Presenters: Agnes Lee and Kevin Kelley, Minitex
Moderator: Colleen Deel, Bemidji State University
Link to recording

1. A review of how Resource Sharing continues to provide services in a hybrid environment since the pandemic 
2. Overview of Minitex Resource Sharing lending and borrowing roles in Alma.
3.  How Minitex Resource Sharing collaborates with MnPALS

10:00 am: Creating the Engaged Virtual Academic Library

Presenters: Elissah Becknell and Tom Eland, Minneapolis College
Moderator: Naomi Johnston, Dakota County Technical College
*Session will not be recorded

Librarians, Technicians and Student Workers at Minneapolis Community & Technical College have been engaged in remote work since March 2020. The COVID19 Pandemic has given our library the opportunity to focus on virtual library services and electronic collections. Several key technologies helped us pivot In Spring 2020 including the LibKey Suite, LibApps, ALMA/Primo, Google Scholar Library Link, and a custom pop-out Chat Widget for the website. We expect to be back on campus next academic year, but this year of being fully remote helped accelerate services and resources that were slowly emerging for us.  We found creative ways to do virtual programming and outreach, including a film series with our Cinema Department, a Libguide based on the ACRL Information Literacy Framework and Research Help available virtually 7 days a week. In this presentation you learn about the technology and strategies we used to build an engaged virtual library that is still plugged into the community we serve.

2:00 pm: Patron Driven Acquisition in Alma

Presenter: Carmen Aslesen, University of St. Thomas
Moderator: David Norris, St. Catherine University
Link to recording and session materials

Are you looking to start a Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA), Demand Driven Acquisition (DDA), User Based Collection Management (UBCM), or some other program we haven't discovered at your institution? Has your go to method for managing these collection development matters been an Excel spreadsheet or just email? At the University of St. Thomas, we have leveraged Alma and its PDA functionality to help keep it all straight. During this session we'll demonstrate how UST uses Alma for active PDAs and how we used it to add orders for a consortial PDA that ended during our migration to Alma.

3:00 pm: "Change the Subject" documentary film discussion on activism and advocacy work

Panelists: Tina Gross, North Dakota State University and Karla Jurgemeyer, St. Olaf College
Facilitator: Dianne Narum, Bemidji State University
Link to recording and session materials

Panel discussion on the documentary film "Change the Subject" about the Dartmouth College students whose activism and advocacy work directly lobbied the Library of Congress to change the subject term “Illegal Aliens” to “Undocumented Immigrants”. Tina Gross, of North Dakota State University and Karla Jurgemeyer, of St.Olaf College, who both worked on efforts to change the Library of Congress Subject heading, will discuss this film and the work done by libraries and librarians since the film was created. Attendees are encouraged to watch the film - available on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SroscdR7-Y before the session and either send your questions and comments to session facilitator, DIanne Narum at:  dianne.narum@bemidjistate.edu or share them during the discussion.


9:00 am: So you think you want to adapt an open textbook? We’ve got some tips for you!

Presenters: Robin Ewing, St. Cloud State University, and Cindy Gruwell, University of West Florida
Moderator: Maggie Snow, Minitex
Link to recording and session materials

As instructors of a course on critical thinking and information literacy, we wanted a single textbook for the class. We know students face no-win decisions between textbooks and basic needs and we never want one of our students to be in that position. Inspired by the OER Librarian Workshops, we took the leap and created our own open textbook that will take the place of the commercial critical thinking textbook and the open access information literacy textbook currently used. Join us as we share our progress as we worked our way through our ups and downs, and the tips we’ve picked up along the way.

10:00 am: I Received an Error Page

Panelists: Pat Lienemann, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Zorian Sasyk, Metropolitan State University; Pam Gladis, Southwest Minnesota State University; Bekky Vrabel, Winona State University
Moderator: Perry Madden, PALS

Library users are usually the first people to discover problems with library resources. However, if they don’t have an easy way to let library workers know about the problem, it won’t get fixed. This panel discussion will cover strategies and tools that Minnesota State Libraries use to facilitate that information sharing. We will be able to share our experiences with implementing Primo’s Report a Broken Link function and chat features, as well as other solutions we have developed for users to report problems.

2:00 pm: Increasing Student Engagement in the Virtual Synchronous One Shot

Presenter: Patrick Leeport, Bemidji State University
Moderator: Colleen Deel, Bemidji State University
Link to recording and session materials

Student engagement in library and information literacy one shot sessions is always difficult. An abrupt transition to remote teaching and learning made meaningful engagement more challenging. This presentation will provide an overview of one approach used to increase student engagement during the virtual library one shot. A teaching technique using the combination of a virtual meeting technology (Zoom) and a web-based collaboration platform (OneDrive) will be explored in the context of library sessions for first year students. Included will be an introduction of the required setup, observed benefits and challenges, opportunities for assessment, as well as ideas for expanding this method into hyflex courses.

3:00 pm: How does COVID impact our library stats and what can we do about it?

Presenters: Jill Holman and Johnna Horton, PALS
Moderator: Jean Kramer, Minnesota State University Moorhead
Link to recording and session materials

Since COVID has affected our services, it also affects our metrics. A lot of our traditional library stats are down (such as gate counts, reference questions, circulation, ILL). Electronic usage is up, but data on this is difficult to consolidate. How should you alter your charts and reports when traditional library stats are down? Let’s look at some practical tips you can use to document the changes. In addition, let’s be sure to highlight any new services and/or good stories! We will also discuss a bit about using stats to advocate for your library and how to tell a good story about your library.