Research Digest: Invisible E-Resources Management

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


Trends in Ed: Lab Culture

Submitted by Laura Costello on Wed, 11/23/2011 - 5:21pm.
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The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation have recently awarded grants to 12 libraries and museums as part of an initiative to introduce teens to technology.

The grant focuses on the creation of learning labs to help teach 21st century skills like creative experimentation with new technologies, tactile interaction with information, and self-directed learning. The recipient institutions will create physical and online spaces to facilitate teen tech learning outside of school and encourage interests. One of the local winners, The New York Hall of Science, plans to create a Maker Faire-inspired teen innovation lab.


Trends in Ed: Digital Immersion

Submitted by Laura Costello on Thu, 11/17/2011 - 10:55am.
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A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education warns of the coming bookless campus. The argument is for digital immersion learning. By banning books on campus, students will be forced to interact with technology as immersion language students do with their supplemental tongue. The author brings up the possibility of pushback, especially in the humanities, from faculty attached to particular books. He’s right that most contemporary books are published in digital format, but as physical books have become remarkably simple to obtain, digital publishing has become hopelessly fragmented.

The idea of a book-free campus has recently graduated in to the sphere of possibility, but we’re still far from being able to offer the best resources to our students in strictly digital form.

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