submitted by Debbie Malone, VAL Committee member: This blog post is the first in a series of posts discussing the library value work being done by the ACRL Liaisons to non-library higher education organizations. We welcome Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh, Georgia State University, who is our liaison to the American Sociological Association (ASA)
As 2012/2013 was my first year as the ACRL-ASA Liaison, many of my initial activities involved making connections and having conversations with key people in the areas I was most interested in exploring: sociology-specific information literacy and sociology-specific data management needs/open access to data/scholarship. These conversations proved quite fruitful and resulted in several burgeoning projects discussed herein.
I am now a Member of the Section on Teaching and Learning in Sociology (STLS) Cooperative Initiatives Committee; my committee activities involve my sociology-specific information literacy projects/activities described in this post.
At the ASA annual conference, which took place August 10-13 in New York City, I had an informal roundtable discussion accepted, entitled “Developing Assessments of Sociology Information Literacy/Critical Research Learning Outcomes,” which was to be moderated by Sally Willson Weimer (UCSB Sociology Librarian), Sociology Professor Ed Kain (Southwestern University), and myself. Perhaps due to timing and conflict with another teaching-related session, we had no one in attendance for the roundtable itself. However, the following morning at a breakfast meeting between myself, Sally Willson Weimer, Ed Kain, Diane Pike (Augsburg College), and Rachel Brekhus (University of Missouri – Columbia Sociology Librarian), Ed Kain informed me that he had suggested to Margaret Vitullo, ASA Director of Academic and Professional Affairs, that next year’s ASA conference training of Department Resource Group (DRG) Program Reviewers include discussions of how to conduct sociology program reviews that more thoroughly incorporate information literacy assessment in the library portion of reviews. I am following up with Ed Kain and Margaret Vitullo regarding this and will likely solicit input from ANSS members regarding how to develop this aspect of the DRG Program Reviewer training.
Also, by invitation from Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology (TRAILS) Editor Diane Pike, I attended the TRAILS Area Editors meeting. Drawing from the outcomes of this meeting as well as the aforementioned breakfast meeting, I marketed TRAILS by recommending via the ANSS listserv that sociology liaison librarians encourage their sociology faculty to submit teaching materials to TRAILS.
I had another informal roundtable discussion accepted for the ASA Conference, entitled “Data Management for Sociologists,” which was led by Jason Phillips, former NYU Data Services Librarian and Sally Willson Weimer, and which I and another New York University librarian joined. Drawing from outcomes of this discussion, I plan to (1) pursue developing a guide for sociology-specific data management needs/practices, including addressing making data and scholarship open access, and (2) contacting Michael Kisielewski, Research Associate for the ASA Department of Research on the Discipline and Profession, to discuss his department’s interest in pursuing a research project to gauge sociology-specific data management needs, including addressing making data and scholarship open access.
Additionally, while attending an NSF-sponsored Policy and Research Workshop entitled “Data for Social Science Research: Availability, Accessibility and Research Possibilities,” myself, Sally Willson Weimer, and Frans Albarillo (Brooklyn College – CUNY Sociology Librarian), spoke with Patricia White (National Science Foundation) and Sheela Kennedy (University of Minnesota IPUMS-International) and have been in email communication regarding how we can help disseminate information about the IPUMS data resources as well as teaching materials for enabling IPUMS data use. My initial plans regarding approaching this include (1) working collaboratively with Frans Albarillo and Sally Willson Weimer on developing a LibGuide that highlights IPUMS and other social-science data resources with instructional help for those resources, and (2) disseminating this information with a link to the LibGuide to the ANSS listserv, the IASSIST (International Association for Social Science Information Services & Technology) listserv, ANSS Currents, and to ASA Officers.
While my past year’s activities did not focus on open access to sociology scholarship, I am pursuing some related activities this coming year. I have had brief communication with Karen Gray Edwards, ASA Director of Publications and Membership, and have learned from the November 2013 ASA Footnotes newsletter that the ASA Council and Committee on Publications has “approved moving forward with SAGE on plans to launch a premier open access general sociology journal. A detailed proposal is expected for review at the next Council meeting [March 1-2, 2014, in Washington, DC], including the payment model, copyright provisions, candidates for editorship, and journal name” (ASA Footnotes, “Council Highlights,” p. 13). I hope to have further conversations with Karen Gray Edwards about how this open-access initiative is proceeding.
For being my first year as the ASA-ACRL Liaison, I feel that I accomplished quite a bit. I have gotten several projects off the ground this year and made great connections with ASA members and administrators, which is quite a feat for a first-year liaison.
Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh, Georgia State University