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