MERIT Staff Shine at Showcase Event

Congrats to MERIT staff for active and exemplary engagement with this year’s UW Madison Showcase event “Leading the Way with Innovation and Excellence”.

On March 16, five MERIT staff took part as poster presenters. Highlights include: in P-K Education:  Process and Progress
Linda Endlich and Catherine Stephens

A Roadmap for Successfully Recruiting, Retaining and Advancing Women in IT:  Creating a more diverse staff is a strategic priority.
Brenda Spychalla

Sustained Strategic Planning: Engagement without Exhaustion MERIT’s sustained strategic planning method and workflow.
Barb Smith Simons and Sabrina Messer

Please contact Barb Smith or MERIT staff listed above for additional information.

Position Vacancy: Resident Librarian

Position Vacancy: Resident Librarian (Full-time, Limited-term)

Working Title:  Resident Librarian for Reference, Educational Technology and Instruction

The Resident Librarian has the responsibility for providing reference services, technology support services and instructional services. The Resident Librarian also will assist in the management of the Information Services staff, coordinate social media activities and perform some collection management duties. In addition, the librarian will work to embody a strong, proactive patron-service ethic.  

Specific activities and tasks related to the job description include:

1. Support MERIT’s Service Desk (40%)

  • Provide support to School of Education students, faculty, and staff as well as other users from the broader campus and the public
  • Provide research and citation manager support
  • Provide software, large-format printing and other instructional lab support functions
  • Assist in the management of the Information Services student staff
  • Develop displays around collections, events, seasons or other themes
  • Assist in the development and maintenance of web-based resource guides
  • Assist in the maintenance of the Library Portal and How-To sections of the MERIT web site
  • Assist in the provision of basic classroom technology support as needed

2. Information Literacy and Technology Instruction (25%)

  • As a member of the MERIT Instruction Team, take part in the teaching and development of course-integrated and/or drop-in workshops
  • Assist in the development and promotion of instructional programs and materials to meet the information and technology literacy needs of the SOE

3. Coordinate Social Media and Selected Special Projects (15%)

  • Coordinate MERIT’s social media activities and curate our online presence using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
  • Assist with special projects guided by MERIT needs and librarian interests (e.g. Partner School Network, practicum student supervision, etc.)

  4. Collection Management/Liaison (10%)

  • Coordinate MERIT collection development in assigned subject areas
  • Develop relationships with School of Education students, faculty and staff to inform collection decisions

5. Participate in professional development and library planning (10%)

  • Attend all applicable MERIT staff meetings
  • Represent MERIT Library on campus committees and working groups
  • Take part in committee work that broadens experience through interaction with campus library and technology staff
  • Participate in the MERIT planning process
  • Attend job-related conferences
  • Present at conferences when applicable
  • Read job-related literature


Candidates must be new graduates (within the last 18 months) of an ALA-accredited institution and may not have worked elsewhere as a professional librarian.

Required Experience

  • An MA or MLS in Library and Information Studies earned in 2015 or 2016 (degree should be completed prior to September 1, 2016)
  • A strong commitment to public service
  • Excellent oral, written and interpersonal communication skills combined with attention to detail
  • Extremely strong technology troubleshooting skills and aptitude
  • Experience providing reference services
  • Experience with information literacy or technology instruction

Desired Experience

  • Experience with education-related research
  • Demonstrated understanding of campus research tools and services (document delivery, citation management and online support services)
  • Background in teacher education

Other Position Details

  • Starting annual salary is $38,000
  • Health Insurance benefits are those available to graduate assistants
  • Anticipated start date is June 6, 2016
  • This position is a one year full-time appointment with the possibility of renewal
  • Some work on nights and weekends will be required
  • Employment will require a state-mandated criminal background check

Application Instructions

Please email as a PDF:

  • a letter of application
  • a resume
  • the names and contact information of three references

Send to:

Lori Zradicka

Office/Business Manager, MERIT (Media, Education Resources, and Information Technology)


Subject: Resident Librarian Application Materials

For additional information contact:

Jim Jonas

Library and Instructional Services Manager


Applications must be received by 5pm (Central Time) on Friday, April 1, 2016.
Successful applicants will undergo a state-mandated criminal background check prior to hiring.

Sharing Ideas for Video Conferencing

MERIT staff offered a grand opening of a new technology-equipped meeting room on Feb 23rd, complete with treats and a hot cocoa bar.   Faculty and Staff from across programs in the Teacher Education building dropped by and took part in demos of video capture technology designed for small group meetings.  Staff and visitors sipped hot cocoa, asked questions and shared ideas for how to use Google Hangout and Kaltura Media Space’s new CaptureSpace Lite, and took turns guessing the name of the famous opera La Bohème playing on the bright flat screen.

The versatile space can be used for a variety of purposes. Ideas shared and discussed include:

  • Group meetings over distance with Google Hangouts
  • Video capture group discussion, and upload to Learn@UW
  • Space to view a video and discuss.
  • Arrange a Skype meeting
  • Record an audio podcast with Kaltura and upload to Learn@UW
  • Interview space (virtual or face to face)
  • Gaming space and connect gaming console (example Xbox)
  • Attend web-based conference with a small group
  • Space to meet with applicants via Google Hangout
  • Offer a workshop in the space
  • Arrange meetings with Cooperating teachers in the field

The meeting space includes an oval conference table with 10 chairs, 60″ LCD display, videoconferencing camera, laptop connection, Mac mini computer, marker board, and chalk board.

Room 118 is open during MERIT Library hours and can be reserved for group meetings and SoE use by School of Education members via EMS scheduling.

Recommended resources include:

Kaltura’s knowledge base
Media Space / Kaltura video for instructional use
UW Madison Google Apps an introduction

Please contact Adam Wiesenfarth at MERIT with questions or for more information about the technologies in 118 and information about MERIT meeting spaces.  MERIT staff look forward to working with you.

Lewis, Spychalla named co-CIOs for School, co-Directors of MERIT

Anna Lewis and Brenda Spychalla are the new co-chief information officers for UW-Madison’s School of Education and co-directors of MERIT, Dean Diana Hess announced.

Lewis and Spychalla have held those positions on an interim basis since mid-August 2015.

“Brenda and Anna are uniquely qualified to lead MERIT and, more broadly, to serve as co-chief information officers,” says Hess. “Individually, they have demonstrated consistently and superbly their ability to direct a wide variety of technology and information services that are so vital to the School. Together they have worked, and will continue to work, as a dynamic team. Rarely have I seen a partnership that operates so effectively. I am thrilled that they have agreed to serve in these important roles.”

Read full story on SoE News