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Monthly Archives: October 2009
An unvetted, unofficial, but understandable basic introduction to QR codes (if you don’t mind the accent). Ciao Baby!
The folks at Information Today have set up a site on Ustream where you can watch videos of presentations from Internet Librarian, which is going on this week in Monterey, California. If you drop by the Internet Librarian page in Ustream, you might find live webcasts as well as previously recorded session, such as this one of Vint Cerf!
At the LITA Forum 2009, Joan K. Lippincott from the Coalition for Networked Information, gave a nice keynote address on mobile web development for libraries, which you can listen to online (or go here to download the MP3). As I listened to it this morning on the subway, it made me wonder about two things:
- Does our library web site convey to our users in one central space all the “mobile services” that we offer? Should we? What would we list there?
- What should our vision of mobile web services look like? It’s likely that in the coming years we’ll want to provide a considerable amount of services and resources in a way that is optimized for mobile deveices. Which services and resources should we focus on first?
- The library web site. What does our library web site look like in a browser on mobile devices? Should we develop a slimmed down web site for the mobile web? Develop an app that people can download to their phones that offers key services and resources?
- Access to the catalog? Does it help that our users can use the mobile version of WorldCat.org to access our holdings info? Is that good enough? Can our Aleph 500 implementation be optimized for display on phones, etc.? As I was typing this post, a student showed me his phone with a list of call numbers he’d found in the catalog and typed into the notepad feature of his cell phone. Wouldn’t it have been nice if the catalog had a link next to the call number that would allow searchers to have the call number sent to their phones as a text message?
- Access to licensed resources? Which databases can be searched via mobile devices? Does Bearcat Search work on a mobile device?
- Access to Digital Media Library content? Will our videos play on their devices?
- Instructional tutorials?
- Ask a librarian? If we launch a text message reference service, this would provide an important connection to the population of students who rely on their phones as their main communication tool.
- Blackboard? Since we offer credit courses, what do our course sites in Blackboard look like on a smartphone?
- Interlibrary loan? Will it work on their devices? Does it display properly?
- Serials Solutions A-Z journal list and SFX. These are key tools to connect our users to licensed content.
- Online exhibits?
- Library borrower’s accounts in Aleph 500?
- Docutek course reserve system and the materials we’ve added as PDFs?
Lippincott, Joan K. “Mobile Technologies, Mobile Users: Will Libraries Mobilize?” LITA Forum 2009, Salt Lake City. 2 October 2009. Address. Web.
Eric Frierson, a librarian at UT Arlington, mentioned in a blog post recently his library’s efforts to augment databases with sidebars offering assistance. The help provided on the side of this version of ERIC includes an embedded video from Frierson, who, as the education librarian, asks anyone who needs help to contact him or to contact a librarian using the embedded chat widget below the video. The sidebar also provides links to relevant videos:
- “Bad results?” This video teaches you basics of Boolean searching.
- “Where’s the PDF?” Shows you how to use the link resolver button (SFX).
- “I need peer-reviewed.” Demonstrates how to limit results for peer-reviewed articles.
- “How do I cite it?” Explains citation styles.
It’s not clear to me where on the library website you can find these “assisted databases” (as Frierson calls them) or how many augmented interfaces they’ve done for other databases. Still, it’s a very intriguing way to provide instruction at the point of need (on the same page as the search boxes).
Frierson, Eric. “Are We Marketing Well?” live wire librarian, 20 October 2009. Web.
Arthur Downing, Ellen Kaufman, Stephen Francoeur, Harold Gee, Joseph Hartnett, Ryan Phillips, Mike Waldman
ARC and ALEPH
We discussed the challenges that the CUNY Office of Library Services is facing as it tries to set up ARC (Aleph 500 Reporting Center), which is a product from Ex Libris that allows Aleph 500 customers to generate sophisticated reports on the items in the catalog and their use.
Capturing User Experience
Ryan discussed capturing user experiences, some ideas and tools presented by Michael Lascarides as part of the NYPL Service Excellence symposium in September. Michael Lascarides is a User Analyst with the Digital Experience Group at NYPL. His presentation was titled “Uncovering Stories”. Two takeaways from his presentation discussed were how to capture user experiences and how users react to bad design and bad user experiences. One tool he mentioned for capturing users’ online experiences is Google Analytics, a tool for analyzing web site traffic. (If you are reading this blog post on the web, then you can view the slides from Lascarides’ presentation below.)
SFX Page with Links to Google Books
We discussed the draft of the SFX FIND IT page that offers Google Books as a target when the item presented is a book that happens to be fully or partially available in Google Books. We also discussed the problems we had a few years ago with a trial to Safari Books.
SFX and bX
We also discussed the Ex Libris bX Recommender, which would function similarly to the Amazon recommendation feature (i.e., “You might also like…”). This tool, highlighted in Eric’s recent email about SFX options, presents article suggestions when you click the SFX Find It link next to an item in your search results. Stephen mentioned that Dave Pattern of University of Huddersfield gave a presentation at Internet Librarian International on how he uses transaction data from his catalog for “you might like” feature in his catalog. (If you are reading this blog post on the web, you can view the slides below; otherwise, you can find them online at Slideshare.)
Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags is a documentary premiering tonight on HBO at 9pm (repeats on other dates). It seems it will be an interesting documenatry covering the rise and decline of the garment industry in the US (NYC), and related economic & social issues (labor unions, globalization, international business, unemployment, impact on immigrant communities & American culture, etc.). Also, it will be interesting to see how they present industry information. The HBO site includes a brief Resources section.
Jin Ma, Mike Waldman, Matt Haugan, Ellen Kaufman, Mike Waldman, Stephen Francoeur
EBSCOhost Integrated Search
Mike Waldman showed us this tool that CUNY is looking at and asked us to think about how it compared to Bearcat Search. EBSCOhost Integrated Search will search everything that CUNY Central pays for (as well as the unique EBSCOhost databases we’ve subscribed to). We can customize the display of search results so that the databases are grouped into first and second tiers. We took a look at how Brooklyn College has set up their instance of this tool. One difference that we noted was that Bearcat doesn’t have search field for “source” but the EBSCOhost Integrated Search does.
We talked about how the free xFruits web services can be used to repurpose RSS feeds or to create new ones. For example, you can convert email into an RSS feed using this tool.
In light of this week’s release of beta invitations to Google Wave, we talked again about what this new tool might allow us to do.
Software for Collaboration and Communication
Ellen Kaufman talking about technology at her old job and how they used Microsoft Sharepoint, portals, and Confluence.
“The French Get Lost in the Clouds Over a New Term in the Internet Age — They Turned Email Into Courriel, But What’s With Informatique en Nuage?” is an article in today’s Wall Street Journal (by Max Colchester).
It discusses France’s attempt to preserve the French language, but also how information/technology terms coined in English may not translate well in other languages. (Other languages tend to adopt the English phrases, as opposed to translating them with culturally appropriate terms.) A phrase that may describe a concept well in English may seem confusing, or silly, to international & ESL students. I realize this is true of any new phrase or slang, but we may want to consider this when discussing new information/technological concepts to international & ESL students, especially since this field creates new terms at a fast pace.