Latest News from Rysavy & Michalak Consultants

Making time for your own professional development – NEAIR’s Summer Drive-in Workshop on Tableau

Do you ever find it difficult to make time for your personal professional development? As someone who was originally a high school teacher, I often miss the 2.5 days in the fall and the 2.5 days in the spring of required professional development time (though in all honesty, I’m not sure if I was so grateful for them when I had to attend those days at the time!). Looking back on those days now, it was a great way of providing solid blocks of time (they were typically all day) to learn something new or to improve upon an existing skill. It was also a time to network with like minded colleagues that you didn’t necessarily see very often.

While Rusty and I present at conferences as much as we can, and certainly consider those to be professional development since we are attend workshops and sessions as well, it’s not the same as having several hours in a row to practice a specific skill (without the associated preparation stress of getting ready to present your own session!). That’s why when we see local workshops offered as professional development, we jump at the opportunity if they are (1) semi-local (i.e. doable in a work day by driving) and (2) affordable. We recently drove up to Temple University in Philadelphia (less than hour’s drive for us from our institution) to attend a Summer Drive-in Workshop which was held by the North East Association for Institutional Research (NEAIR). We joined the Visualizing Survey Data in Tableau workshop, as our institution recently picked up Tableau.

Are you using Tableau in your academic library or department?

We’d love to hear about how you are using it to help you analyze your data and make decisions! 

After arriving to Temple University, the Tableau workshop began with,

NEAIR Summer Drive-in Workshops

I’m kidding! Sort of. The workshop didn’t begin with this cute bagel hut, but our day did! How could we not stop at this? It helped that it was also on the way out of the parking lot – so you’d feel guilty if you didn’t stop to pick up a $1 bagel.

The workshop was held at Temple University’s Tuttleman Computer Center which was literally right next door to the parking lot (and bagel hut!) which made it super convenient to get to (good pick, NEAIR!).

NEAIR Summer Drive-in Workshops

After a warm welcome from members of NEAIR (it was great to see you again, Annemarie!), we headed to our workshop.

NEAIR Summer Drive-in Workshops

Temple’s IT facilities were quite nice – they reminded me of the ITS Training Services area where I worked at Penn State.

NEAIR Summer Drive-in Workshops

Check out their computer lab log-on screens – our institution needs to add more of the college’s branding to log-ons like this! It’s a simple, but nice way of including your brand elements in places where people frequently see them.

NEAIR Summer Drive-in Workshops

Rusty and I were particularly interested in checking out how Temple University Libraries had set up their web presence as we are always making updates and style improvements to our LibGuides pages (I’m always surprised by how many institution’s use LibGuides, but Rusty frequently informs me that it’s very common). Now that we are incorporating an Ask a Librarian! form as an embedded page in all of our institutions’s course sites within the LMS, I’m always interested in checking out how other institution’s are wording similar resources. I really liked how Temple’s University Libraries explained the purpose of Subject Librarians for students who might need research help.

NEAIR Summer Drive-in Workshops

Our Tableau workshop was taught by Craig Abbey, Associate Vice President and Director of Institutional Analysis at University at Buffalo.

NEAIR Summer Drive-in Workshops

We recently completed a week-long online training with Tableau (a live training that was held via WebEx), and to be honest, if we hadn’t completed that training, I think this workshop would have been difficult. That being said, the pre-reqs for the course indicated that basic working knowledge of Tableau was expected (however, anyone else ever attend training that they might not be ready for? Hand up over here! When I’m excited and ready to learn, I learn!). Rusty and I were fine with our skill levels though and found ourselves mainly keeping up with Craig.

We picked up many tips and tricks during this workshop – like clicking on the drop down arrow next to measures to change your calculation quickly to a percentage and how to make simply adjustments to visualizations so that they would be easier to read (adjusting the auto text for what you see when you hover on elements, for example.

NEAIR Summer Drive-in Workshops

I think my favorite tip, though, was shared with us by another attendee, Alexandra Yanovski-Bowers, Assistant Director for Undergraduate Strategic Initiatives at Temple – she shared with us that you can use the CTRL key and drag an existing measure onto the Detail Marks card to create a duplicate of your measure, remove the current calculation of percentage so that your new measure returns to counts, and drag that new measure out to your visualization (in my case yesterday – typically tables) to include both the percentage of responses for a particular category AND the n (counts/how many people responded in that way).

NEAIR Summer Drive-in Workshops

This made me extremely excited. Think all the excited emojis! Seriously. It will save us so much time now that we know how to do combine counts and percentages in the same visualization. I was combining two different worksheets before to get the same result. Thanks, Alexandra, for sharing your tips!

The NEAIR Summer Drive-in Workshop Visualizing Survey Data in Tableau was a great event and we’re glad we attended. Definitely looking for more opportunities like this in the future from them.

But back to you…

How are you using Tableau in your academic library?
Are you using it to analyze assessment data from your instructional sessions?
Reviewing your acquisitions history?

Let us know! We’d love to chat with you about it.

Tableau is a powerful tool that’s fairly simply to use once you’ve had a few tips and training sessions.

We’re happy to share our new found knowledge.

Share your Tableau experiences and questions with us by commenting on this post, reaching out via our Contact Us page, or you can find us on LinkedIn too (Monica / Rusty).

Outreach in Academic Libraries

My first encounter—that I can remember in vivid detail—at an academic library function with faculty was at a lecture on penguins.  I was about eight years old. A faculty member my Mom (former University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Assistant Vice Provost / University Librarian Sarah Michalak ) knew who worked at the University of Washington (where she also worked) was scheduled  to deliver a lecture about his expedition to Antarctica.  In his presentation, he spoke about his research on the habitat and behavior of penguins.

I was intrigued when my mom said she was going to the lecture, so I asked if I could tag along.  I remember how excited I was to hear about penguins! But what was truly neat was to see the librarians set up the room for the lecture at the Allen Library.  Furthermore, the library had made bookmarks for to market the event. In my eagerness to remember the event, I took over 50 bookmarks.  How do I know this? Well, I still have them.  I just gave one to my  daughter; she loved it.

The details of the lecture have been lost on me. But what I do remember the most was my mom, a librarian, introducing the speaker and the lecturer walking like a penguin. One of the best parts of the lecture was the venue, the Allen Library at the University of Washington.

By the end of the lecture, as we were walking to the car, I asked if we could attend another lecture at the library. I told my mom I wanted more bookmarks.  She smiled and said sure.  I thought quietly to myself—it would be neat to introduce, like my mom, a variety of speakers when I grew up. Librarians can be an important part of faculty’s scholarly processes by offering opportunities for them to speak and providing inviting venues where they can speak.

Recently Published: A Michalak & Rysavy Chapter in Digital Workplace Learning

Our 1st Book Chapter

Rusty and I wrote a proposal for a chapter to be included in this edited collection in October 2016, shortly after our first article was published in the Journal of Business and Finance Librarianship. I saw Dirk’s CfP and thought we had a project that would work well for it. We literally wrote the proposal on an airplane, flying home from attending the AECT (Association for Educational Communications and Technology) conference in Las Vegas. A few months later we learned we were accepted, wrote the chapter, and the book was published in February 2018. This may give you a little insight into publishing timelines – from proposal to publication is not a typically a fast process.

Today we received our personal copies from the publisher.

Apply for that CfP (Call for Proposal) before you think you’re ready. Whether it’s a conference presentation, journal article, book chapter, etc… This proposal was our first book chapter proposal. I didn’t know if we were ready but we wanted a book chapter so we went for it. It was honestly the best feeling to hold this book in my hand today – an actual published hardback book that was not my dissertation. So apply. Even if you don’t think you are ready. If you get a no, find another CfP and try again.


Presenting at the University of Delaware

Rusty and I recently had the opportunity to present with Dr. Kevin Hunt at the University of Delaware for the Delaware Division of College and Research Libraries’ (CRLD) Spring Program. Our presentation, Using Qualtrics to Assess Students’ Engagement with Digital Primary Sources, shared our experiences working with Kevin and his first year composition courses last fall.

I was first introduced to this organization by Rusty, who is finishing out his year serving as president of CRLD Delaware. I thoroughly enjoyed the program despite not currently working specifically within an academic library. I wanted to point this out because I think it’s easy to think that CRLD is only for those who work in libraries. While sometimes it may seem from my publications and the events that I attend that I do work in the library field, I don’t at the moment (though between the amount of time I’ve spent in libraries since elementary school – which is when my Mom began working in libraries – and since my field of research mainly focuses on work related to academic libraries – it often feels like I always have!). As we always say to those who ask about how we work together so much – there are many more cross-over goals and projects between libraries and institutional research than one might think.

We always enjoy local speaking and networking opportunities, particularly when we are able to present with a colleague from our institution. If you haven’t checked out your local chapter of CRLD I highly recommend it!

Natalia Lopez of the University of Delaware


Jim McCloskey of Wilmington University


Adding Author Profiles to Your Website: ORCID and Google Scholar

Are you utilizing Author Profiles online? We have a few different services that we maintain, mainly ORCID and Google Scholar. If you’re new to these services, ORCID,

ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized.

and Google Scholar,

  • Search all scholarly literature from one convenient place
  • Explore related works, citations, authors, and publications
  • Locate the complete document through your library or on the web
  • Keep up with recent developments in any area of research
  • Check who’s citing your publications, create a public author profile

Rusty recently shared about the importance of creating author profiles in this post. We also recently co-hosted a faculty workshop at our institution with presenters from Montana State University on the same topic. Dr. Kenning Arlitsch (Dean of the Library) and Dr. Justin Shanks (Interim Department Head, Digital Library Initiatives)  shared, via Skype for Business, about the importance of maintaining your scholarly presence online using author profiles. Their talk focused on ORCID and Google Scholar.

As a result, we thought it was time to add links to our ORCID profile pages and Google Scholar profiles to our website. You can add links to your profiles anywhere on a website that will accept some embedded code. I chose to add ours to the sidebar of our blog. This quick video capture below (no sound) shows you where I added the code to the sidebar.

If you haven’t created profiles with ORCID and Google Scholar, we highly recommend it!


Rysavy & Michalak Consultant’s blog is authored by Monica D.T. Rysavy, Ph.D. and Russell Michalak, MLIS. We are academic directors with a combined 28 years of experiences working in higher education institutions. Learn more about us by visiting our About Us page.



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Our Research Online

You can find our recent publications on our Publications page, or you can check out one of the several author profile services we both utilize, including:


Monica D.T. Rysavy, Ph.D.

Russell Michalak, MLIS


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Monica D.T. Rysavy, Ph.D.

Monica’s Google Scholar

Russell Michalak, MLIS

Russell’s Google Scholar