Name the iPad Room Booking Project

Submitted by Laura Costello on Tue, 12/13/2011 - 6:48pm.
Laura Costello's picture

Thanks for your help and feedback on the iPad wall housings, a sample of the favorite is on its way. With all the wheel-turning that's been going on recently in collaboration support land, we've found we need a better way to talk about the project. The wall-mounted iPad room booking system just doesn't roll off the tongue.

Let's put that famous EdLab brain power to work and generate a snazzy moniker for this futuristic project. I'm going to give Urtak a try in the polling! I added my 7 favorite brainstormed names, but it's rolling polling so you can add yours to the mix as well!

iPad Name Poll

Thanks in advance for your help!


EdLab Review: Urtak

Submitted by Laura Costello on Fri, 12/09/2011 - 7:13pm.
Laura Costello's picture


Yes. No. Don’t Care. Urtak brings simplicity to online surveys. The idea is that with only three possible responses, surveys will be hard not to finish. Urtak also relies on crowd power to evolve and improve surveys. Survey takers can add their own questions and answer questions asked by their peers. The result is a simple, growing way to survey and engage readership.

Urtak is dead simple and very intuitive. As soon as users answer a question, the responses appear in the form of a pie chart. There is instant gratification built in to the process. As soon as you choose one of three options, color coded results appear in their place. 4% of survey takers like the smell of dirty socks? Extremely addictive. I suggest a try of the General Interest survey. As the first Urtak endeavor, it’s snowballed into a massive 17,000+ survey that’s endearingly erratic. The survey curates itself. The more survey takers that “don’t care” about a question, the fewer times it will be asked to others.


Research Digest: Invisible E-Resources Management

Submitted by Laura Costello on Thu, 12/08/2011 - 7:18pm.
Laura Costello's picture

Frumkin, J. & Reese, T. (2011). Provision Recognition: Increasing Awareness of the Library’s Value in Delivering Electronic Information Resources. Journal of Library Administration, 51(1), 810–819.

This article describes strategies for bringing library tools and resources to the forefront while “discovery happens elsewhere.” Most of the approaches outlined are nothing new: branding through database providers and on external websites, public and detailed usage reports and department-level electronic journal access lists. The two universities that mounted the study, The University of Arizona and Oregon State University, engaged library users in perception of value studies to gauge recognition of library-provided resources and the effectiveness of library statistics and branding through external websites.

The interesting part of this study is the intensive outreach done with non-library administration. Library representatives approached departmental heads and deans with both usage statistics and targeted resource lists and gauged their effectiveness with surveys and interviews. Outside of any actual statistics-reading that may or may not have occurred in non-library departments, this seems like a proactive intra-institutional marketing campaign. The external website branding functions similarly.


Trends in Ed: Media Awards From A Book Organization

Submitted by Laura Costello on Thu, 12/08/2011 - 12:03pm.
Laura Costello's picture


This is something I probably should have known as a librarian, but apparently the ALA announces its primary children’s and YA book awards in a ceremony that makes allowances for increasing format diversity. The ALA Youth Media Awards celebrate, not only the winners of the Printz and Newbery book awards, but also award winners in illustration, audio, and video.

The ALA book awards have long recognized the importance of visual imagery for emerging readers, offering the prestigious Caldecott Medal for excellence in illustration. I was unaware of the Odyssey Award and Andrew Carnegie Medal, offered respectively for audio and video productions aimed at children and teens. I’m excited that the ALA, in line with many de facto library collections, is acknowledging format blurring for digital native consumers of media. Perhaps I'm just growing out of the adolescence of my librarianship, but this has been one of several recent and pleasant epiphanies about the ALA. I hope that they’ll continue to augment their award offerings to encourage excellence in production and storytelling aimed at young people.


Cool Archival Stuff: LBJ Time Machine

Submitted by Laura Costello on Wed, 12/07/2011 - 6:54pm.
Laura Costello's picture


The Lyndon Baines Johnson Museum & Library will be “live” blogging the life of LBJ over a 13-week period (he’s currently 15). They’ve created a media-heavy Tumblr filled with archival pictures and documents that will chart his ascent from small-town Texan to U.S. President. The site is similar in looks to Archival Revival, but the chronological blogging has a lot of instructional potential.


EdLab Review: Freading

Submitted by Laura Costello on Fri, 12/02/2011 - 6:13pm.
Laura Costello's picture


Freading is a fusion of demand driven acquisitions and pay per view models that, until recently, have only been used for electronic journal access. Considering the recent friction over more traditional e-book lending models like Overdrive, this type of lending might start to gain traction with publishers. Freading was started by the company behind Freegal, a niche music lending program that operated on a similar pay for use model.

The interface is clean and functional, though not anything revolutionary. The books are arranged across the page in shelf-style with little numbers in the upper left-hand corners. It’s a bit unclear if these numbers refer to number of downloads, or “grades” on Freading’s pay scale. The pay scale grades are currently based on best-seller status and number of weeks from publication and range from $2 to $0.50 per check out. Charges for libraries are invoiced monthly and require a monetary pledge but no hosting fee.


Sticking it to the Wall

Submitted by Laura Costello on Fri, 12/02/2011 - 11:23am.
Laura Costello's picture

Basak, Yudan, Wei, and I are in the preliminary stages of developing an iPad app for the room reservation system in the library. Eventually our goal is to replace the daily paper room schedules with super shiny futuristic e-signs. I’ve been doing a lot of research on the subject and have discovered that the world of in and on-wall electronics installation is wide and diverse. There are a lot rigs developed for personal use. The prettiest and easiest may be the Wallee, a one-screw affair that allows users to easily hang their iPad horizontally or vertically on the wall by means of a specialized case.


For commercial use, there are also a lot of options. A few emphasize security, with hardcore key-locks and in-wall stud bolting. Two of the most popular housings in the business world seem to be the Lab Shield and the nClosure. Both use locks that can be keyed alike for large orders.


Research Digest: Is Facebook Worth it for Academic Libraries?

Submitted by Laura Costello on Thu, 12/01/2011 - 7:39pm.
Laura Costello's picture

Gerolimos, M. (2011). Academic Libraries on Facebook: An Analysis of Users' Comments. D-Lib Magazine, 17(11/12).

This article analyzes student interactions with academic library Facebook pages and finds that many of them have unclear goals and are ineffective as research or outreach tools.

The author cited several Facebook in education interview-based studies that found students looked to Facebook primarily as a social tool. Many of these studies were taken before some of the successful Facebook marketing campaigns of recent years, so it’s plausible that users’ opinions toward the tool have changed. The study also looked at papers surrounding the basic issues of Facebook in an instructional setting: professionalism, leisure, and privacy.

The study examined nearly 4,000 wall posts among 20 university Facebook pages and coded communications by content as “library related” or not. Most of the comments were complimentary towards the library, but a striking few represented useful interactions between library staff and students. Even sites that identified reference assistance as a goal for their Facebook outreach had very few interactions on the site. Sheer volume of content on the Facebook page was the single best indicator of student activity and appropriate responses to posts.


Trends in Ed: Reaching Out with Art

Submitted by Laura Costello on Thu, 12/01/2011 - 4:17pm.
Laura Costello's picture


Library as Incubator is a blog that’s been getting a lot of press in library circles lately. Started by three artist library students at The University of Wisconsin-Madison, the blog explores the art/library connection with essays, examples of library programming and space as a vehicle for art instruction, and support for artist/librarian collaboration. One of the focuses of the blog is art outreach to children and teens through school and public libraries.

It will be interesting to see the if this communication inspires unique programming development in elementary and secondary school libraries, a traditionally outreach averse population. Libraries and fine arts programs in schools have much in common and sadly share a similarly tenuous position in the face of shrinking budgets.


Library Trends: Developing ILL Alternatives

Submitted by Laura Costello on Mon, 11/28/2011 - 4:39pm.
Laura Costello's picture

New models have been developing in scholarly publishing that may represent a robust alternative to interlibrary loan in coming years. Cambridge Journals recently released a 24-hour pay-per-view model similar to developing trends in video rental. At $5.99 per article, it significantly undercuts many interlibrary loan fees. Like recent offerings from the Copyright Clearance Center, it represents a strategy of monetizing for publishers services which historically relied on exchange between libraries. Hopefully the pressure of libraries flocking to ILL alternatives will inspire OCLC to develop better, cheaper, and faster methods of interlibrary exchange.

XML feed