Research Digest: The Long View of User-Generated Content

Submitted by Laura Costello on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 12:56pm.
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Lampert, C. & Chun, S. K. (2012). Strategic planning for sustaining user-generated content in digital collections. The Journal of Library Innovation, 2(2), 74-93.

A few short years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to witness naked librarian fear at the prospect of user-generated content. Through a period of growth, it’s become clear that UGC doesn’t wreck libraries or destroy the stately reputation of well-sourced information, but the mere integration of this uncontrollable content is not the end of the story. As we plan for the future role of UGC in library resources, we’ll have to consider how we should curate these resources and what their place should be in light of our more traditional collections.


Trends in Ed: Making a Big Change

Submitted by Laura Costello on Wed, 03/14/2012 - 6:21pm.
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There’s been a lot of talk and criticism around the K-12 Education Reform program in the Philippines, namely around the decision to extend the curriculum by 2-years and the resulting organizational wave this will cause. School administrators and teachers are rightly worried about huge gaps in enrollment and the stretching of a curriculum that perhaps should have been reformed instead of extended. But this radical change, whether or not it was the appropriate move, has been inspiring enviable problem-solving and a gnashing of ideas often missing from more palatable reforms.

While the change is meant to equip graduates with a universally acceptable degree in an increasingly global market, they also aim to increase guidance in non-academic and vocational tracks. Further reforms could potentially bring the kind of track-centric nesting program seen in the Netherlands. One of the largest sectors for innovation may be textbooks, a huge budget increase and a strict push towards 1:1 purchasing along with an increasing language and curricular diversity might see an explosion in academic publishing.


An Attribution Solution?

Submitted by Laura Costello on Mon, 03/12/2012 - 5:39pm.
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The Curator’s Code was developed as a bookmarklet to help standardize attribution on the web. The goal of the code is to create simple, unicode symbols to rule all the HTs, RTs, MTs, & vias.

ᔥ is for your direct and modified quote needs
↬ stands in for your hat tips and idea attribution

Elegant, no? Something like this becomes more valuable with use, but the symbols are meant to radiate curiosity which should drive clickability. The creators hope that it will encourage linkbacks in blogs, tweets, and statuses that respect and highlight the collaborative creation that goes down on the web. A couple of high profile blogs, including the Atlantic, have already signed on to the fight. Anything that makes attribution sleek and cool is a-ok in my book, but the site's a looker even if attribution doesn't set your heart aflutter.


EdLab Review: Intern Sushi

Submitted by Laura Costello on Fri, 03/09/2012 - 11:43am.
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There have been several startups aimed at reinventing résumé and achievement presentation. Intern Sushi launched with an eye to presentation in film, television, sports, music, fashion and advertising internships and has since expanded, mostly into tech. The site is dual purpose, helping prospective interns create exciting achievement records and prospective employers sift creatively through the résumé deluge.

Résumé presentation is only one aspect of Sushi, which aims to become a social network and task management platform for the entire internship process. As an employer, you’re able to assign projects and track progress through the site and when the internship is over, upload a recommendation video to the student’s profile. The site’s paid features are tempting and clever, premium interns are able to post unlimited videos targeted at specific positions and get a 48-hour advance on applying to all positions.


Research Digest: Copywrong

Submitted by Laura Costello on Fri, 03/09/2012 - 10:17am.
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McDermott, A. J. (2012). Copyright: Regulation Out of Line with Our Digital Reality? Information Technology and Libraries, 31(1).

The article explores several facets of the current copyright landscape for libraries beginning with a discussion of the restrictions of the Digital Millennium Copyright act and the copyright term extension act of 1998. The author goes on to detail the issues arising from digitization, especially in the case of orphan works and the challenges to service that stem from an increasingly digital and increasingly restricted materials base. The very concept of ownership has shifted to a licensing model in the case of digital materials and this shift has significant implications for access.


Google Play's Rebranding Effort

Submitted by Laura Costello on Wed, 03/07/2012 - 3:36pm.
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Google's announcement of their new media destination yesterday was met with a collective "huh?" and much indifference, possibly because it isn't actually new. The announcement accompanied the debut of a browser-based site, but the Android Market has run the new look for several months already. The concept is an iTunes-esque cross-platform media destination and a mass rebranding effort. Expect your Android Market to evolve into the oddly-named "Play Store" in the coming weeks though pretty much everything else will be the same. Google Play will also consume the traditionally problematic Google Books, which will become "Play Books" (everybody now!: "huh?") Though the polished-up incarnation of the Books platform excitingly undercuts Amazon on price.


Research Digest: Room Reservation Systems

Submitted by Laura Costello on Thu, 03/01/2012 - 6:25pm.
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Doherty, T. M. & White, E. R. (2012). Room reservations at VCU Libraries. College & Research Libraries News, 73(3), 142-146.

Faust, B. D. et al. (2010). OpenRoom: Making Room Reservation Easy for Students and Faculty. Code4lib Journal, 10.

Due to a recent collection and facilities expansion, The James Branch Cabell Library at Virginia Commonwealth University found itself in need of a room reservation system that mirrored its commitment to accessibility and fairness. While they considered analog room sign-ups, they eventually decided to adopt the OpenRoom, an open source room-booking software developed at Ball State University. The group behind OpenRoom developed the system in 2010 for similar reasons and the system is currently used in 4 institutions including Ball State and VCU. Both VCU and Ball state felt that current ILS-based and commercial booking software failed to produce successful patron-driven room booking systems.


Access to Research Panel

Submitted by Laura Costello on Tue, 02/28/2012 - 6:42pm.
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Today Jo and I attended the Panel to Consider Recent Developments in Access to Research at Columbia University. The panel was meant to discuss the Elsevier boycott, the Research Works Act, and the Occupy movement as they relate to traditional and digital scholarly publishing. This article is a compilation of collaborative notes we took during the presentation. The panel included:

Allan Adler, Vice President for Legal and Governmental Affairs in the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the Association of American Publishers
Oona Schmid, the Director of Publishing at the American Anthropological Association
Peter Woit, a blogger and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at Columbia University


EdLab Review: Booktype

Submitted by Laura Costello on Fri, 02/24/2012 - 7:41pm.
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Booktype is a social book creation platform which allows users to seamlessly collaborate and edit e-books.

The books are organized hierarchically by chapter, but in practice the titles are organized more like a website than a book perhaps because of the constantly available sidebar navigation. This makes for reference book-esque content, a refreshing born-digital departure. The group capability seems very useful too, especially for editor control of collaborative projects. It could make a very slick long group paper in a classroom setting and it doesn’t hurt that it’s free and endlessly cross-formattable.

Booktype’s UI is extremely simple, perhaps even plain. That’s not necessarily a bad thing in a book creation platform, but it looks like an antique next to the lush, media-heavy offerings from Apple and Inkling. They also don’t seem to have attracted a very active user base; many people have signed up for the site but very few are actively creating books or groups.


Research Digest: Are Books Becoming Extinct?

Submitted by Laura Costello on Thu, 02/23/2012 - 6:45pm.
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Dewan, P. (2012). Are books becoming extinct in academic libraries? New Library World, 113, 1/2, 27-37.

This article analyzes data from publishers, providers, and libraries to draw conclusions about the future of libraries in relation to e-content. E-readers are becoming more prevalent and traditional book-centric reading is no longer the standard for many people. Still, she argues, the library’s place is to provide the format that patrons require and there are many reasons to resist digital purchasing especially with the perpetually uneasy relationship between publishers and libraries.

OCLC’s 2010 publication Perceptions of Libraries shows that “books” is the word people most strongly associate with libraries. The marketing of libraries will have to change dramatically for increasingly book-independent institutions. The shift from “book” to something like “knowledge” or “collaboration” will rely on the creation of spaces, resources, and collections that accept new information formats and add value. Our strategies for doing this are well accepted but our worth will have to be defined separately from our role as a content provider.

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