Libraries sponsors 2018 Computers and Writing Conference

The University Libraries is pleased to be a sponsor of the 2018 Computers and Writing Conference, which will take place May 24 – 27 at George Mason University.

Computers and Writing is an annual conference dedicated to the study of the intersections between digital technologies, literacy, and writing. The theme for this year’s conference is Digital Phronesis: Culture/Code/Play. Often described as “practical wisdom,” phronesis represents an enactment of good judgment guided by both learned knowledge and lived experience. Phronesis comes from our histories, our education, and reflections on our experiences.

In addition to the Libraries providing sponsorship and space in Fenwick Library for conference sessions, Jen Stevens (Lead, Arts and Humanities Team) and George Oberle (History Librarian) were members of the planning committee for the conference.

Registration, schedule, and additional details at http://candwcon.org/2018/computers-and-writing-2018.

ACRL releases Framing Information Literacy

The Libraries is pleased to announce the publication of a six-volume set, Framing Information Literacy: Teaching Grounded in Theory, Pedagogy, and Practice, by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).

The series is edited by Janna Mattson, Instructional & Social Sciences Librarian at Mason, and Mary Oberlies, Undergraduate Engagement Librarian and Assistant Librarian at University of Oregon (and former Peace and Conflict Studies Librarian at Mason). Janna, Mary, and other current and former Mason librarians (Theresa Calcagno, Maoria Kirker, Laura Jenemann, and Helen McManus) also contributed as authors

In conjunction with the release of Framing Information Literacy, ACRL is offering a series of six webinars corresponding with the topics of each volume. Mason Libraries’ Janna Mattson, Maoria Kirker, and Helen McManus are among the presenters.

Framing Information Literacy aims to address the teaching anxiety and insecurity librarians often experience in relation to providing instruction on information literacy. The series captures the knowledge and practice of fifty-eight teacher librarians and five teaching faculty from forty-one institutions – an invaluable tool to help others form their own approaches to teaching information literacy.

For more information, see ACRL’s recent press release and eLearning announcement.

University Service Awards 2018

Congratulations to the following library faculty/staff for their service to George Mason University and/or the Commonwealth of Virginia. The awards will be presented next week at the University Day Service Awards celebrations on April 10 (5-15 years of service) and April 11 (20 and more years of service).

5 Years

  • Kathleen Butler, Sciences and Technology Team & Mercer Library
  • Samara Carter, Special Collections Research Center
  • Raquel Duron, Social Sciences Team & Arlington Campus Library
  • Jo Ann Henson, Social Sciences Team & Arlington Campus Library
  • Helen McManus, Social Sciences Team & Arlington Campus Library
  • Genya O’Gara, Virtual Library of Virginia
  • Anne Osterman, Virtual Library of Virginia
  • Michelle Polchow, Technical Services Group

10 Years

  • Elyse Becker, Gateway Library
  • Theresa Calcagno, Sciences and Technology Team & Mercer Library
  • Jennifer Hamilton, Technical Services Group
  • Nicholas Hofmann, Access Services
  • Wendy Mann, Digital Scholarship Center
  • Janna Mattson, Gateway Library
  • Beth Roszkowski, Social Sciences Team & Arlington Campus Library

15 Years

  • Shannon Hogya, Sciences and Technology Team & Mercer Library

20 Years

  • Lara Bushallow, Systems Group
  • Phat Le, Systems Group

30 Years

  • John Walsh, Office of the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian

35 Years

  • Wally Grotophorst, Office of the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian
  • Wendy Lim, Resource Acquisition, Technical Services Group

OER Metafinder Goes Viral

Another important step in the march toward reducing the cost of textbooks for Mason students has been achieved with the national release of a new search tool by the Mason Libraries. The Mason Open Educational Resources Metafinder (MOM) greatly simplifies the discovery process for existing Open Educational Resources (OER).

Created by Wally Grotophorst, Associate University Librarian for Digital Programs and Systems at Mason, the new OER Metafinder has been described by some as “the Google for Open Educational Resources.” Just a few months after its release, there are already more than 170 libraries, colleges and universities across North America linking directly to the MOM to help their faculty locate useful learning materials (https://publishing.gmu.edu/whos-using-the-mason-oer-metafinder/). Reflecting this national buzz, a recent Inside HigherEd article on the difficulty of finding OER materials recognized the Mason OER Metafinder as the “new kid on the block” that “yields more diverse results.” (https://insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2018/01/10/finding-oer-remains-challenging-solutions-abound).

Prior to the release of the MOM, discovery of open educational content began with a tedious dive in and out of open educational content silos. So many different collections, wildly different interfaces, no standard metadata – any and all conspiring to drain the educator’s enthusiasm for open educational resources. The Mason OER Metafinder breaks this paradigm by simultaneously searching in real-time across sixteen different OER sites, presenting the de-duplicated and ranked results drawn from these sites in a single, modern, easy-to-understand interface. As the Metafinder’s creator, Wally Grotophorst has observed, “What I keep hearing from the many colleges and universities using MOM is how it has opened up their discussions with their own faculty about the availability and quality of open resources. MOM shows in minutes results that once took hours of hit and miss searching to discover.”

Read more about the Mason Open Educational Resources Metafinder and the Libraries’ work in OER and reducing students’ costs.