Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Innovative, Fun & Exciting Reference Service Practices

Recently I read an article in Reference & User Services Quarterly/ Winter 2008. Vol. 48, Iss. 2; p. 108 entitled, "A Personal Choice: Reference Service Excellence". Obviously, I'm behind in my reading (Winter '08 issue), however, this article contained several references to innovative, fun and (mostly) practical reference service practices that remain relevant.

The article is about the revitalization of academic reference service excellence and the rise (not decline) of library marketing, VR and F2F reference services. Of the ideas that the author (prof at Rutgers' School of Communication, Information and Library Studies) shared, these 3 caught my attention:

  • The "Ask Cart" with the Library Dude! at a branch library at Penn State- seeing is believing
  • Librarians at Franklin and Marshall College who make "house calls" to faculty and other campus bldgs. See their form for library users to make an apptmt with a librarian.
  • My favorite- The University College Dublin Library (as in Dublin, Ireland) "is involving students and faculty in their library blog. They have designed a cloth library bookbag that
    sells for a pittance (£2) and have invited students to take photos of the bookbag in exotic places and post them on the blog! Students have responded enthusiastically and artistically in posting shots that display the bookbag all over the world." Check this out!
Use ProQuest Central, Wilson Select or Gale databases to access the full text of this article.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Notes from an MLA Workshop Presentation

Of the MLA sessions I attended on Thursday (Nov 12th), I really appreciated some of the comments that George Needham shared in his presentation, “It Ain’t Necessarily So: Challenging the Assumptions of Legacy Librarianship”

I liked Mr. Needham’s presentation style (informal & humorous) and thought that the following “messages” of his were worth sharing. What do you think? :

  • Is what we do or how we “present ourselves” still needed or wanted?
  • Librarianship should present meaning because neither Google nor Amazon can.
  • We need to “re-deploy Reference”- collaborate with other departments (academic libraries) and collaborate with City Council or city/township services (public libraries)
  • Promote reading as a healthy activity; “Reading as an activity keeps humans out of nursing homes/help humans stay healthy. Promote, ‘Success through reading’ ”
  • Kindle, ebooks, e-audiobooks, books in print- it doesn’t matter. We need to promote our assets. Our collections are better than most bookstores.
  • As something becomes popular, we tend to ration it. Don’t ration new technologies/software in our libraries. When Internet access was first available in libraries we told our users that they had 20 minutes to use it.
  • Get ourselves (our presence) on other library’s blogs and/or websites.
  • Too often we expect our users to do things and find things using OUR way. Every time we ask our users to find our materials using OUR way, we’re asking them to make those left turns.
  • Simplify the work area- keep it clear of too many handouts, fliers, bookmarks, etc.
  • Keep our systems and signs free of jargon- the only people who know our systems and/or jargon are the people who don’t need to know!
  • Keep the “gate-keeping” to a minimum. Use fewer rules and simplify the rules.
  • Service desks should be placed in the stacks where they’re needed.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sacred Cows & Library Technology

Someone (sorry, forgot who) twittered this post today from the ALA TechSource blog, and I thought I'd share it here:

Hearing Rick Anderson's recent KLA talk, titled "The Five Sacred Cows of Librarianship: Why They No Longer Matter, and Why Two of Them Never Did," made me wonder what "sacred cows" exist in the field of library technology. I posed the question, "What are the sacred cows of library technology?" in Google Wave. What followed was a discussion about digital technology among library technologists that generated many ideas and was a great way to try out this new communication tool. Some of the ideas offered up were "sacred cows" to those in the field, but others challenged ideas held more widely in librarianship.

"Our users haven't asked for that."

Some libraries do not experiment with offering services and resources digitally because the patrons in the building say that they do not want them. Matt Hamilton writes, "When I asked our Reference staff if they'd consider IM reference I was told 'Well, our patrons haven't asked for that.' However the university up the hill actually tried it--and it was so popular they had to readjust staffing for it."

A good way to estimate whether a digital service will be successful is to ask users of your website, though even users of your digital spaces may not know right away whether they would use a service if offered digitally. For example, users might tell you now that they are not interested in asking information questions via Twitter or SMS, but when those same people get into Twitter because their friends do, your library will be there to met their needs. "A question is a question is a question," writes David Lee King, "in-person services should not be weighted as more important than using a similar service digitally."

"Library technology=Windows or Mac."

While the majority of the use of digital library services and resources takes place via desktop or laptop computers, mobile use is rapidly increasing. Computers are everywhere—our DVRs and cable boxes are computers, as are our in-car GPS units. Perhaps most widespread, our cell phones and other small-screen devices that can access the web, like Apple's iPod Touch and eBook readers like Amazon's Kindle, are computers.

What does your library website look like on these devices? Can your users send call numbers or phone numbers to themselves via a text message? Can your users chat with a librarian via SMS? Do you provide directions via Google Maps? Event information via Google Calendar, iCalendar or RSS? Is your library's Facebook page mobile-friendly? Is there an iPhone app that searches your library's catalog?

There is an important lesson here for library administrators, and it's not that every library MUST have all of these things, but rather that technology budgets must be nimble enough to arm your technology staff with the tools and training required to create mobile-friendly services. Robert McDonald asserts that libraries must "look at new communication tools and how we can partner with vendors to be viable in this area."

"Right now," he writes, "I am talking about SMS text and mobile devices—soon I guess I will mean wave or some other technology. Email and Chat are for old people like me, not for our current users."

"Cutting-edge is better; bleeding-edge is best."

Just because a shiny gadget or tool is available, it doesn't mean that there is a need for it in each library. "Anytime we fetishize the container over the information we're creating a golden idol," writes Joshua Neff, extending the "sacred cow" metaphor. Amy Buckland agreed, writing, "I'm always amazed that libtechs are so enamored of tools long before they come up with uses for them. Then we try to shoehorn library services into a tool just so we have it." Experimenting with low-cost or no-cost tools like Twitter will only cost staff time, but implementing expensive (think federated search) or complex-but-free technologies (think Drupal) because it's the cool thing to do can be a very costly lesson for a library to learn, in terms of budget, staff time, morale and user satisfaction.

" is the only way to go."

This is a many-horned "cow" that deserves quick and painless slaughter. Roy Tennant was quick to offer open source software as one of our sacred cows, "Not that it isn't important and useful," he says, "I've been involved with open source projects myself, but it also is not our total salvation. We need to get beyond a religious-like fervor and view all possible solutions more rationally." David King offered the idea from a different angle: "Having a 'complete Microsoft shop,' meaning those IT departments that are proud of the fact that their server room only has Microsoft products, Microsoft operating systems, etc." Jason Griffey chimed in with the "belief that dealing with 'library vendors' for services is the way to go. I'm trying to find ways to get away from that, and go wherever the best stuff is (often NOT library vendors)." Whatever goes in that blank, it's important to realize that it's ok to diversify. Not all library systems HAVE to be open source. Not every server HAS to be Microsoft. Libraries can partner with vendors outside libraryland for tools and services. There is an awful lot of content delivered directly to users via Netflix, iTunes, Amazon—how can libraries become integrated into what Jason Griffey calls these "patron-level content distribution systems"? Should we be trying? Will libraries as we know them survive if we don't?

"Technology is the domain of the few."

Library staff who are comfortable with using and experimenting with technology are no longer solely in the Systems Department. The "technology-minded" can have a role in every department. A library organization whose librarians and staff are empowered to experiment with technological solutions or who are given tools to create their own digital content will be more nimble and able to respond to the changing technology needs of users. Ideas for meeting information or collection needs with a technological tool will be more widely accepted—and therefore more successful among staff—if those ideas originate in the departments that will use those tools. It's a wiser use of staffing dollars to allow technology staff to focus on programming, hardware, web design and systems administration expertise instead of figuring out how to day-to-day uses of Database X or Software Program Y. Of course, it's important for library staff and administrators to realize that technology staff time is finite; that systems and services that requiring technology staff time add up fast; and that thoughtful and strategic technology planning is more important than ever.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Information Overload

I just had to post this wonderful slideshowcreated by Sarah Houghton-Jan.

Check out her blog where she has recently covered the Internet Librarian 2009 conference most excellently.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Journal Lite Club Submission

For your reading enjoyment and hopefully to spark a little bit of discussion I submit for you the following article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, "The Millennial Muddle". We've all heard about Millennials, but what do we really know about them, or the people who have made a living off of describing their behavior, attitudes, predilections, and possibilities? What is it that we think we know about Millennials, or any other generation for that matter?


In a recent story in Wired Priya Ganapati gives us "5 Things That Make Us Want Barnes & Nobel's Nook E-Reader". The article points out that while the market for e-readers is still relatively small, it is burgeoning, highly competitive, and with each new entry pushing the available features of a device in hopes that it will stand out. One can almost hear in Ganapati's tone just how limited these current devices are and how rapidly they are likely to change and become significant consumer/educational devices.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Maintaining Your Instruction Mojo

Thanks to my Twitter feed (via the prolific @cclibrarian), I stumbled across the following blog post from ACRLog, and thought it pertinent to share here.

Happily, I feel like we are successfully doing a lot of the things as library instructors suggested & recommended by the author of this post. Kudos to us! :)

Maintaining Your Instruction Mojo

This post is somewhat of a follow-up to my last one on the involved library administrator. In that post I identified some reasons why an academic library administrator should consider staying actively involved in public services. That includes teaching instruction sessions.

There are many dimensions to being a great library instructor. Teaching regularly can certainly help to keep those skills sharp, and it affords the needed opportunity to experiment with learners, to try new things, and to stretch one’s capabilities in the classroom. While I advocated that academic library administrators should endeavor to continue their teaching role (BTW, there are college presidents that continue to teach regularly), having fewer opportunities to do so isn’t without consequences. For one thing, you become a bit rusty. In addition, since moving into administration is something you typically do in the latter part of your career, you’re a bit older, maybe less energetic and perhaps a bit less eager to try new things. Oh, and the students look much younger.

I volunteered for a few freshman instruction sessions this semester and I got to thinking about whether I’m going to appear too old or out of touch to the students. Using a cultural reference to the sixties that no contemporary student would understand is not beyond the realm of possibility for me. I’m certainly older than most of the lecturers teaching the courses. I’d like to avoid coming off as out-of-touch. On the other hand I absolutely don’t want to seem like I am trying too hard to be cool. I got to thinking about this a bit more when I came across an article in the August/September 2009 issue of The Teaching Professor titled “Why Don’t My Students Think I’m Groovy“. (sorry not freely available online). The author raises concerns about how to keep her teaching methods fresh so millennial students can connect with her.

The author suggests the five R’s for engaging millennial students:

1. Relevance – The big challenge is to connect course content to the current culture – learning has to be relevant to them.

2. Rationale – Today’s students were raised in a non-authoritarian manner. They won’t comply because the instructor is in charge, but will be more likely to do so when given a good rationale.

3. Relaxed – They thrive in a less formal environment in which they can interact informally with the instructor and each other.

4. Rapport – More than previous generations they are used to having adults in their lives and show interest in them. They appreciate it when instructors show interest as well or when we connect on a personal level.

5. Research-based methods – Millennials have grown up constantly engaged so they can tend to bore easily, so be prepared with active learning methods

These are good tips to keep in mind. Something else that can help is the ability to demonstrate comfort and flexibility with technology. Being a geek could potentially score additional points with today’s students. Again, trying too hard could be problematic, but showing some skills with the smart classroom technology or navigating the web could work in your favor. If you end up having to ask the students for help you may be in trouble.

So how have things been going for me? I now remind myself to dress more casually on days I teach an instruction session. For these groups, I don’t think a suit and tie makes the instructor appear as likable or approachable. I make sure I’m comfortable with the technology. In fact I downloaded our clicker software and spent time learning how to create slides that will work with the clicker technology we’re using in our instruction this semester. I can’t say for sure if I’ve got my instruction mojo working at full capacity, but things seem to be going well. No one fell asleep in the 8:00 am class I did last week.

Monday, October 5, 2009

ACRL Podcasts- Have You Used Them Before?

Just an FYI here-

If you haven't used/listened to any of the podcasts from ACRL, you might want to peruse the list of them and check on a couple of them. Most of them are between 12 - 20 minutes long.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Promoting Library Reference Services . . . What Works?

What are your thoughts regarding Karen Sobel's article? What applies to our students? Should we consider surveying our students for their feedback?

Your thoughts, please.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Go Green!

Ebsco's GreenFILE is one of Ebsco's Earth/Environment databases that has a lot to offer. In the near future we'll have a direct link to it from our list of research databases, but in the meantime, you can use the EbscoHost title link to access it. Hint: once you've accessed EbscoHost, click on "All databases".

Many (most) of the records in GreenFILE are to abstracts, however, there are over 4,700 full text records via Open Access.
GreenFILE can have broad applications to many of LCC's courses and programs- environmental studies, building trades courses, landscape architecture program, many sciences courses, etc.

Thing Green and consider checking out (and using) Ebsco's GreenFILE soon.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mobile Trends in Libraries

Late in July I attended a webinar, “The Handheld Librarian”. It was thought-provoking to learn of all the current mobile devices/software that many libraries (public, academic and special libraries alike) are already using. “The medium is the message; the audience is the content.” Remember? Marshall McLuhen

The webinar presenter, Gerry McKiernan, said that mobile technology/mobile Internet is “clearly pervasive now and a global phenomenon.” “As of April of 2009, 59% of U.S. residents have used mobile Internet.”

Examples of digital libraries and mobile apps now available include: Ingenta Connect Mobile and PubMed on Tap. DukeMobile is an example of a university whose digital materials are available via PDAs, iPhones, iPodTouch, etc.

How ‘bout the Kindle app for the iPhone- to access Kindle content w/o owning a Kindle?

Course managemt software is available on mobile devices. The list goes on and on.

During the webinar I posed a question about those who can’t afford these devices or the service contracts to them. The presenter admitted that “there’s a real concern about folks getting left behind.” However, “there are serious broadband initiatives out there to help narrow the ‘digital divide’ ”.

Finally, Gerry shared some ideas about how libraries can market/promote mobile services or work with mobile technology. But then cautioned attendees about libraries promoting the use of mobile devices for all- an ethical issue.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Our impending future?

I've been reading a fascinating book by Jeff Howe called Crowdsourcing. It documents the history and current iterations of a phenomena that is influencing, transforming, and one might say revolutionizing everything from how ornithologists collect data to how t-shirts are sold. It would be foolish to think that libraries are not effected by this emerging reality of utilizing the "crowd" to accomplish infinitely more than can be done with our own limited resources.

In a great (albeit long) post on the blog In the Library with a Lead Pipe Ross Singer points to this:

Joe Lucia, the University Librarian at Villanova made an intriguing and provocative statement on the NGC4LIB mailing list two years ago with this:

“What if, in the U.S., 50 ARL libraries, 20 large public libraries, 20 medium-sized academic libraries, and 20 Oberlin group libraries anted up one full-time technology position for collaborative open source development. That’s 110 developers working on library applications with robust, quickly-implemented current Web technology…. Instead of being technology followers, I venture to say that libraries might once again become leaders…."

Singer goes on to expound on the idea within the context of public libraries, but I think what he adds to Lucia's statement is completely relevant to academic libraries as well. It seems to me that this kind of collective effort coupled with input from the "crowd" of interested, willing, and talented patrons will become imperative to creating tools that we could never dream of on our own.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

For the Record

John Potter, current Chair of the Michigan Academic Library Council (MALC) says it all in recent his letter, "Why Funding for the Library of Michigan Matter". See what you think.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Research can be so frustrating, so say students

In a previous post I mentioned Project Information Literacy. They have produced a new video that I think is very interesting. Their project is one I think we all should be keeping close tabs on.

Monday, June 29, 2009

In These Times...

In a post entitled The Pros and Cons of Reinventing the Wheel on the esteemed ACRLog Maura Smale gives us some very interesting food for thought about where to find high quality instructional tutorials in multiple formats. She asks us to consider the importance of locally created content and she also wonders, "must our online instructional materials have our own logo and library name...(and) do we spend too much time reinventing the wheel when we create local versions of tutorials on common topics?"

Monday, June 1, 2009

Internet Time

Back in 1998-1999, I was working in at CyberSource, an e-commerce startup in Silicon Valley (before the "tech stock bust"). The CEO, Bill McKiernan used to have a favorite saying that he never failed to repeat at our frequent company and team meetings:
In Internet time, a day is a week, a week is a month, and a month is a year.
That maxim, for better or worse, is as true as it was 10 (calendar) years ago.

Are you ready for Web 3.0? No idea what I'm talking about? I'd never heard of it myself until just a few moments ago. As I'm writing this, there's not even a Wikipedia entry on it yet. *gasp!* :o>

Luckily, iLibrarian has made a quick & concise list of Web 3.0 Concepts Explained in Plain English:

Web 3.0 in Plain English[Click on the image above to enlarge for easier reading]
Digital Inspiration sums up the differences between Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web 3.0 and provides six related presentations which discuss Web 3.0 in detail.
From Digital Inspiration:
Web 1.0 - That Geocities & Hotmail era was all about read-only content and static HTML websites. People preferred navigating the web through link directories of Yahoo! and dmoz.

Web 2.0 - This is about user-generated content and the read-write web. People are consuming as well as contributing information through blogs or sites like Flickr, YouTube, Digg, etc. The line dividing a consumer and content publisher is increasingly getting blurred in the Web 2.0 era.

Web 3.0 - This will be about semantic web (or the meaning of data), personalization (e.g. iGoogle), intelligent search and behavioral advertising among other things.

If that sounds confusing, check out some of these excellent presentations that help you understand Web 3.0 in simple English. Each takes a different approach to explain Web 3.0 and the last presentation uses an example of a "postage stamp" to explain the "semantic web".
Ready or not, here we keep on evolving!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Is technology worthless without kindness?

A former colleague of mine, Amy Limpitlaw, posted this link to the ATLANTIS list serv. (ATLANTIS serves the American Theological Library Association.) It's originally from the ALA techsource blog.

What do you think?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"The New Normal"

Every now and then I check ACRL's blog, ACRLog, to see what's being posted. Recently I read a post entitled, "A Guide to the 'New Normal' for Academic Libraries". What, you ask, is the "new normal"?

"The 'new normal' is a concept that signals that everything we've taken for granted over the last 20 years is being melted down, re-thought and cast into a new reality. The old rules are broken and new ones must replace them."

Can you guess who "the drivers" of the 'new normal' for academic libraries are? Yep, the economy, our students, and technology. No big surprise there.

For those so inclined to look over the complete report, "ACRL's 2009 Strategic Thinking Guide for Academic Librarians in the New Economy" you can read it here. Ok, so you don't want to read a long involved report. Suggestion: skip to the section on "Driver #3- Technology" and "Strategic Questions for Libraries" (toward the end of the report).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Researching Librarian

I may be late on this... I just read about The Researching Librarian in C&RL News (April 2009). It's part of a large article by Laurie Putnam, "Professional writing and publishing". What an interesting site! It's geared for librarians who need to research and publish for tenure or job advancement. The site feels sort of amateurish but it's great to know that resources are out there... other than ACRL's own mentor program.

I looked over this site again. It's nothing new, unfortunately.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Customizing MultiSearch

I ran across a recent article about how University of Wyoming Libraries implemented Serials Solutions federated search engine, the same tool we have renamed Multisearch.

It is not a long article, but I picked up some ideas that I think can help us in further customizing MultiSearch:

Comprehensive Search vs. A Few Good Articles

UW Libraries put a "Find It Fast" box on their homepage with the idea that federated search engines do a better job of providing a few articles to start with, rather than being a comprehensive way to search all of the databases. If you really want the best articles, you really need to use subject headings and the specialized search features available by searching databases individually.

Select a Few Databases and Test

With this in mind, the article points out that it is better to set up MultiSearch by being selective, rather than comprehensive. In deciding which databases to include in each subject category, subject specialists suggested a few databases and then tested to see what kind of results came up in sample searches. Some databases provided only problematic results, so they were eliminated from the list, even though they could technically be searched with MultiSearch. UW has over 200 databases, which was whittled down to 46 databases, and finally after testing, they ended up with a dozen databases that consistently provided good results in sample searches.

Default to Title Searching

Serials Solutions sets the default to TITLE search. This seems odd at first (I remember as a Reference team we changed the default to KEYWORD). But TITLE searching works better than KEYWORD searching with federated search engines for two reasons: 1- Time - it takes forever to search the full-text of so many articles and databases. If we are offering MultiSearch as a fast option for a few articles, KEYWORD searching defeats this goal. 2 - if the idea is to get a few good articles, not be be comprehensive, then title searches will offer up a few good results with fewer outliers. Of course, some articles will be missed, if the topic doesn't appear in the title, but the point is not to be thorough, but to provide a few articles that are on topic.

Monday, April 13, 2009

MLA Guidelines Update: URL's no longer required

Just a heads up about this issue I heard in Twitter-land today. Wonder when this will impact us?... via

Times change: print no longer default MLA citation style

The Modern Language Association's (MLA) new handbook for academic citations does away with the primacy of print, along with the need to include URLs for Web citations. All hail the rise of the Internet.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

LCC Library on Twitter

I attended a workshop at the CTE yesterday that is making me think again about the potential uses of Twitter for the library. I just sent out an email to library staff about the possibility of starting a library Twitter account to promote services and events. What do you all think?
Had an interesting reminder this morning about how folks understand databases and how they're compiled and used.
A returning student came in to do research for a writ 121 assignment... writing about the negative aspects of joint custody and in particular, fathers' rights. Clearly, this was an emotionally charged topic for our student... I got the whole story about the ex-wife, the son, the doctors and teachers "only listen to her."
We searched through Opposing Viewpoints and General OneFile to try to find articles.... only he didn't want articles. He wanted legal materials. I explained to the student that these databases will have articles ABOUT those issues but aren't the legal papers themselves.
That's when he got really mad.
He went on, rather loudly (not dangerously loud or anything, just angry) about how the courts are hearing reports from fathers all the time but "they don't care and that's why there's nothing in these databases!" Again, I explained that database usage takes time and patience and not everything is in every database.. that's why we looked in two different ones.
He left. His buddy was trying to direct him to the legal aide office as they walked out...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Library Instruction "to go"

So far this session is really great. First off, the presenters are from Wayne State and that is where I got my MLIS! Secondly, they are incorporating really great interactive practices that we all should be using in our instruction courses. They kicked off the session by soliciting from the audience the challenges that they feel they might face in creating the learning objects to be used "to go". The presenters clearly defined what a learning object is and continued on to another exercise that got us, the audience, talking amongst each other about clearly defining a learning objective. Next they moved in to a discussion of "storyboarding" in order to create a learning object. The storyboard provides a plan where a clearly defined objective, a list of visuals/examples to include, and the attendant details associated with each example, ie. any scripts, highlights, or clicks needed.

The presenters next moved on to a discussion of their decision to attempt to utilize web 2.0 technology with their learning objects and the challenges and opportunities that this decision presented. In their first example they showed off trailfire and some of its linking capabilities. Their second example came from brainhoney and they utilized hot potatoes for their quiz assessments.

For community colleges who are beginning to explore the use of online learning objects like we are at my institution I think this session provided a lot of good food for thought in terms of the creation of these portable objects and how to make them socially interactive for the students.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Is there a tool that will change how students find information?

When you look at the findings of Project Information Literacy and related research/literature, it quickly becomes clear that libraries are practically non-existent in the psyche of students wanting to start the research process. There appears to be some confusion about the fact that libraries have reliable, trustworthy sources and the level of difficulty in utilizing those sources. By in large libraries, their websites, are completely absent as starting points for research.

I went to a breakfast this morning sponsored by Serials Solutions where they had Alison J. Head discuss some her findings, so far, with the PIL. This afternoon I've been participating in a webcast called in part "The Web is My Library", both presentations point to the fact that students do not start their research at the library. These and other similar findings could be seen as disconcerting. However, Serials Solutions is looking at the opportunity created by the choice of students to start at Google and Wikipedia, by creating what they are calling Summon (caution: this link launches with audio), a unified discovery service. It is intended to answer the desire of students to have a "clear and compelling starting point" for their research, said Jane Burke, Vice President of Serials Solutions.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Library Website Redesign

Please post any feedback you have about the library website proposal presented at the department meeting to the Web Redesign Ideas section of the library wiki.

Feel free to review the mockups of the homepage version 1, homepage version 2, section page, and sample internal page in the LCC files.

We are looking for feedback on:

1. Overall design

2. Additional features

  • e.g. more prominent search box on homepage

3. Names of Main Categories and Headings

  • Find Information (research? research tools?)

  • Help (research help?)

  • About (about the library, general information)

  • For You

  • Spotlight / Featured Resource

4. Additional content to add to website

  • e.g. page for faculty

If you would prefer, you can post your comments here instead and they will be transferred to the wiki.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Wiki Mania

Until recently I was unaware of the (many) "sister projects" of Wikipedia. It's a real Wikimania out there with Wikinews, Wikispecies, Wikiversity to name a few.

See what you think at

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Interesting Articles

Here's some interesting articles from The Journal of Web Librarianship discussing Twitter, social networking, and the future of Library 2.0. If you have the time they are quick reads and very interesting.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Speaking of Twitter

Check out this course wiki all about Twittering Libraries.

It was written for the fall 2008 LIS 5313 course by Lindy Brown, a MLIS student at Florida State University's College of Information. For questions about this article, please email Lindy at

Monday, February 2, 2009

File under inspirational

Michael Stephens who writes the blog Tame the Web is also an avid Twitter user. If you aren't aware, Twitter is a microblogging tool where one can "follow", or be a follower of a person's posts, or "tweets" of under 140 characters. A recent "tweet" of his seemed so poignant and inspirational that I wanted to pass it along to everyone. Here it is:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Catalog and more

So, I'm still thinking about the catalog as portal....

Why can't we take everything on our website and catalog it? If is the portal, the links there could have our bookmarks, our helpsheets, everything! There's still room on that page...

Also, since I'm thinking about the catalog, let's look into the fun things we can do with it. 1. There's a feature we can turn on that allows users to write book reviews for our material. As far as I know, these comments come into a central place where they can be edited for content before being posted... no suprises. I would love to take on that! 2. Also, at GTU we used to do audioblogging... that we would then link to our records. So, as an example, I audioblogged a book review on the Encyclopedia of Swearing and then linked it to the GRACE record. Could we do something like this here? It links in one of the 900 fields in the records.

What do you guys think? I'd love to have instructors (and us!) do something like this... can we audioblog on blogger?