EdLab Review: *openmargin

Submitted by Laura Costello on Fri, 11/11/2011 - 1:20pm.
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*openmargin is an e-publisher devoted to creating mini-social networks around marginalia in its books. Much like vialogues is to video, *openmargin is to the e-book. It’s a similar concept to former EdLab review features like Bookhunch and NowComment in its devotion to community around content, but its style and niche offerings set it apart in the genre.

Pros:
One of the coolest features in *openmargin is the cool (again, Vialogues-esque) comment timeline which allows one to mouse over profile pictures of users and see the points at which they comment in the book. A click will show you their comments. On the front page, a similar thing happens with book covers. Mousing over will show a random selection of participating users and a click will show the book on their profile page. It’s overall a very slick website with adorable Dutch touches (Dutches).

 

Trends in Ed: Twitter In The Language Classroom

Submitted by Laura Costello on Fri, 11/11/2011 - 11:09am.
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Kate reported on a similar trend back in September, but I’ve recently been reading more about this and thinking about its implications in other comment-based language learning programs like our own Vialogues Language Acquisition project. The central theme of these programs seems to be that short but effective communications in a foreign language can build empowerment and interest and facilitate cultural exchange over shared interests.

A recent article in HASTAC describes how Twitter is used to this end in a beginning Portuguese classroom. Students become quickly adroit in a cultural conversation with content that’s far trendier than anything found in a textbook. Students also work collaboratively to create course content using vocabulary and structure found in their Twitter feeds. The ability to create connection between native speakers and language learners using social technology may be a great revolution for acquisition, but it’s kind of sad that the plugged-in language learner of today won’t experience the social facilitation of hilariously outdated textbook slang.

 

Research Digest: Is Bibliographic Control Worth it?

Submitted by Laura Costello on Thu, 11/10/2011 - 7:28pm.
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Stalberg, E. & Cronin, C. (2011). Assessing the Cost and Value of Bibliographic Control. Library Resources & Technical Services, 55(3), 124-137.

There’s been a lot of buzz lately from the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control and their recent official anti-MARC stance, but this article delves further to explore a bibliographic control-less future.

Description:
The article first describes the difficult and recent birth of cost/benefit analysis in technical services librarianship. Though time and cost have played a role in cataloging decisions since the Library of Congress began offering pre-made cards at the turn of the century, until the 2000’s there was not a concentrated effort in the community to evaluate our metadata practices towards evolving material types. The article describes the testing procedures for RDA by the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control in crafting their recommendations for the bibliographic future.

 

Trends in Ed(Lab): Publishing in Academic Libraries

Submitted by Laura Costello on Thu, 11/03/2011 - 10:48am.
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Julia broke this story, but it's so relevant you'll have to read it twice. The SPARC study began in 2010 in three university libraries with a stake in this new library role: Purdue University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Utah. The survey portion of the study found that 55% of institutions offered or will offer publishing of some kind and three quarters of these programs included components of traditional publishing like journals and monographs. They also found, as Julia mentioned, that many of these programs were scrappy; few had long-term sustainability plans and fewer still the staff and funding required to re-create commercial publishing structures.

This flexibility could be a strength. The second part of the study explains the focuses and strategies of the three investigating institutions, which like TC's innovative publishing program, seem primed to expand the range of academic voices.

 

EdLab Review: Switchcam

Submitted by Laura Costello on Wed, 11/02/2011 - 2:20pm.
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Description:
Switchcam is a crowdchiving site for fan-snagged concert footage. Users can switch between synced phone-camera footage to get a global perspective.

Pros:
The idea is pretty awesome and builds on a concert merch market sorely lacking in business model innovation. I could see the fansourcing element of Switchcam blowing up, it’s a perfect participatory +1 even if you have to spend the entire show with a phone in front of your face. (Not a change for many the modern concert goer) The sync is surprisingly good. I can’t figure out how it does this, but the multiple camera angles seem to resolve themselves into sync as I watch. It’s like magic!

Cons:

 

EdLab Review: Hyperink

Submitted by Laura Costello on Fri, 10/28/2011 - 5:12pm.
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Hyperink is demand driven publishing. This publishing startup analyzes search trends on Google and produces short (30-50 page) e-books written by experts in these mini-fields.

Pros:
It’s fast. Hyperink books generally take no more than a month to produce. They’re nimble enough to report on trending topics that may not have enduring book value (eg. Rebecca Black) and are gunning for the niche crowd. The topics are extremely diverse and some are very targeted.

Cons:
The site is a little busy for my tastes, but it is called Hyperink. The pickings are pretty scanty right now, but there are enough to get a sense of the types of books Hyperink wants to publish. Some of them, like strategies for getting specific jobs or internships, seem very revolutionary in publishing. They’re also a bit expensive for a >50 page e-book, most are $25. That’s more than I would be willing to pay, except in the case of a book that specifically addressed a subject I needed. That’s what Hyperink is banking on.

 

Demand Driven Acquisitions Live at the Gottesman

Submitted by Laura Costello on Fri, 10/28/2011 - 12:30pm.
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You may have seen today’s article about the awesome power of patron driven acquisitions in Inside Higher Ed. No sweat folks, we’re all over that! Our demand driven acquisitions program quietly went live at the beginning of the week. Peruse our wide e-aisles of bountiful e-book full text links! Purchasing is automatically triggered when you spend more than 10 minutes reading a book or do any printing from the text. We hope this will be an extension of our current policies and a more automated way to deliver electronic titles to our patrons.

 

Trends in Ed: Teen Tech Outreach in Harlem

Submitted by Laura Costello on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 2:24pm.
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The Hamilton Grange branch of the New York Public Library has recently opened a new tech-heavy teen floor. Teen outreach with technology in libraries is nothing new, but this Harlem branch offers community space in the form of a performance area and media viewing stations and plenty of computer access. Teen spaces have been a hot trend in libraries built or updated since the mid 2000’s and teen services have evolved in an interesting and often controversial way. The jury’s still out on the benefits of gaming and television in libraries for teens, but it’s a proven way to get ‘em in the door.

 

Check it Out: Archival Revival

Submitted by Laura Costello on Tue, 10/25/2011 - 2:20pm.
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For the past month we’ve been toiling in chilly subbasements and mining increasingly opaque social archiving websites for the content that’ll put fire in the hearts of believers! It’s my honor and privilege to formally announce the debut of Archival Revival! Thanks so much for your contributions, comments, and props thus far. I have the ideas generated by our extremely helpful EdLab Development & Research meeting saved in my dubiously helpful get started guide. Your feedback is much appreciated!

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EdLab Review: Biblion

Submitted by Laura Costello on Sun, 10/23/2011 - 2:09pm.
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Biblion: The Boundless Library is the New York Public Library’s archival site and app for their 1939-40 World’s Fair Collection.

Pros:
The site for the World’s Fair is well-curated, consisting of several topical nodes which each contain pages of photos, clippings, and documents as well as a running explanation of the historical value of the presented documents. The collection itself is vast and extremely interesting. Most of it is press photography and published news, but the background correspondence is quite fun. The app is very pretty, with nice photo piles and a good timeline feature. The color choices, which look a little strange on the web, make perfect sense on the app.

Cons:
The nodes are selected well, but arranged poorly for web viewing. The archival documents line the left side of the page and the thin explanation runs down the right. This gives a rather squished together effect that ruins the delightful mystery of the offerings. It’s a bit scrapbooky and over-explained for my archival tastes, but the care and knowledge with which it was selected is evident everywhere.

 
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