Awards and Honors, Gifts and Grants, Staff

Innovative Library Projects Receive Start-Up Funding through 2014 Innovation Grants


Innovation Grant awardees Dean Farrell, Kate McGraw, Chad Haefele, Jonathan McMichael, and Jennie Goforth (not pictured: Winifred Metz, Danianne Mizzy, Sarah Wright)

Looking for 3D printing? Want to help undergraduates develop better research skills? UNC librarians will develop these services and more thanks to five newly awarded Innovation Grants.

The Library offers the internal grants to staff members as a way to encourage strategic creativity. A committee makes the awards on the basis of a competitive application process.

“Our goal is to connect great ideas with the resources to support them,” said University Librarian Sarah Michalak. “When our staff members have space and opportunity to experiment with new services, the entire University benefits.”

Funding for the grants comes from unrestricted library endowment. Awardees will complete the following projects during the 2014-15 fiscal year:

Building Effective Research Assignments: A Video Series

Awardee: Jonathan McMichael, Undergraduate Experience Librarian, Undergraduate Library

Two years ago, Undergraduate Experience Librarian Jonathan McMichael developed a service he called “Test Drive an Assignment.” By reviewing English 105 library assignments, Jonathan helps instructors understand what the research experience of their students will be and how to adjust projects to achieve better outcomes. After more than 64 “test drives,” he is ready to expand the service into a video series. The goal, he said, “is to put instructors and librarians on the same page with research assignments that will bring the greatest benefit to students.”

Development of a Practice-Based Learning Curriculum for Hospital Residents and Fellows

Awardees: Kate McGraw, Assistant Department Head for User Services, and Sarah Wright, User Services Librarian, Health Sciences Library

Medical residency programs must not only hone the clinical skills of trainees, but also ensure that residents and fellows meet national standards that include staying current with medical literature, developing life-long learning skills, and applying research evidence to patient care. To help meet these requirements, the Health Sciences Library will create training templates to adapt for use in a range of specialty areas. Librarians will also reach out to residency and fellowship programs that need assistance meeting these requirements and to medical residents who may not know about the full range of Health Sciences Library resources and services.

Data Visualization

Awardee: Dean Farrell, Applications Analyst, Library and Information Technology Department

As a major administrative unit on campus, the Library uses operational data to make decisions, allocate staffing, and develop budgets. Software development specialist Dean Farrell would like to bring new visualization techniques to the analysis of these data points. His goal is to help UNC librarians better share data and discern patterns in services such as borrowing, network usage, and consultations, with an eye to making improvements and identifying opportunities to meet needs of UNC students and faculty.

Pilot 3D Printing and Scanning Services

Awardees: Chad Haefele, Emerging Technologies Librarian, and Danianne Mizzy, Head of Kenan Science Information Services

During the 2013-14 academic year, UNC librarians piloted a highly successful 3D printing service that has supported the work of students and faculty in disciplines as diverse as chemistry, art, and business. Using Innovation Grant funding, librarians Chad Haefele and Danianne Mizzy will acquire and implement a second printer to support more complex, durable, and detailed printed items. A 3D scanner will make even more varied projects possible. 3D printing and scanning will be a cornerstone of the Library’s new Research Hub, which will debut at the beginning of the fall semester.

Research and Learning DEN (Discovery, Engagement and Narrative)

Awardees:  Winifred Metz, Media Librarian and Head of the Media Resources Center, and Jennie Goforth, Research and Design Services Librarian

What’s more welcoming than a cozy den? Librarians Winifred Metz and Jennie Goforth envision converting a highly visible space in the Undergraduate Library into a flexible, technologically equipped, and casual learning destination for students and the entire University community. “We coined ‘DEN’ (for Discovery, Engagement, and Narrative) to capture the casual feeling of the favorite room in your house,” they said. But the learning function of the Undergraduate DEN is paramount. There, visitors might encounter casual TED-like talks, receptions, film panels, roundtable discussions, workshops, and gatherings. Innovation Grant funding will hire a designer to help craft the DEN.


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