Monthly Archives: May 2010

New Features in Profile Pages in LibGuides

When you create a LibGuide, the system also creates a separate profile page about you (based on the profile information that you provide). I just noticed today that that the template for those profile pages have expanded greatly. Now, in addition to your basic contact information being listed, there are additional tabs of info that you can add content to:

  • Office Hours. I just put 9-5 for mine.
  • More Information. You can put whatever you want here. I put code in for a widget that displays my availability information from my Outlook calendar. When we get that CV system up and running, maybe we’ll be able to republish selected info from it here.
  • Guides. This tab automatically lists each the subject guides that you are the author of.

Here’s my newly customized profile page.

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    Tech Sharecase, 21 May 2010

    Robert Drzewicki, Stephen Francoeur, Gerry Jiao, Ellen Kaufman, Louise Klusek, Wilcina Longdon, Jin Ma, Kannan Mohan, Ryan Phillips, Linda Rath, Mike Waldman

    Database Trial Reviews
    We discussed briefly the pros and cons of writing up reviews of database trials on the reference blog and the library’s internal mailing list.

    Bike Route Maps and Directions
    In celebration of Bike to Work day, we looked at a number of options for finding bike route maps and directions:
    • maps can be downloaded and added to Google Earth
    • missing some of the human element (insider knowledge about safest, easiest routes, etc.)

    Call Numbers in Catalogs and Library Floorplans
    We tried in vain to recall what library has a catalog that lets you click on a call number in the catalog to show you the location of that item on a floorplan. As we tried to remember which library has this feature in its catalog, we looked at the catalog from the library at the University of Huddersfield (UK), which offers on the item record a visual shelf browse feature, a QR code for the book (which probably leads to the permalink for the item), and circulation stats for that item (see for example this record for The Iliad of Homer).

    At the recent OpenSciNY conference at the Bobst Library at NYU, a group of librarians, scientists, and publishers got together to talk about open access publishing, open source software, and opens notebook science. Among the more interesting things talked about were:
    • Flickr and amateur astronomers are uploading images they’ve taken with their telescopes to Flickr. One of the presenters at OpenSciNY, David Hogg, worked with some colleagues to put together a service that uses the Flickr API to identify any images that have been recently tagged with “astrometry.” Once tagged in this way, an image on Flickr will be analzyed by the Astrometry service and a comment appended to the image that details the celestial objects visible in the image (see this one from Flickr as an example)
    • ChemSpider: Antony Williams from the Royal Society of Chemistry talked about the problem of finding reliable and comprehensive information on chemical structures on the web. ChemSpider describes itself as a “chemistry search engine” that “has been built with the intention of aggregating and indexing chemical structures and their associated information into a single searchable repository and make it available to everybody, at no charge.”

    Substitute for EtherPad
    EtherPad, a recently shuttered free service that allowed for collaborative editing of documents, released its source code, thereby allowing a number of clone services to be created. One such service is

    Discovery Tools
    We talked a while about the difference between discovery tools (like Summon and EBSCO Discovery Service) and federated search tools (like 360 Search, which we use for our own Bearcat Search). It was noted that with the new discovery tools, the thing that takes the longest to set up is getting your catalog records into the system. What makes a discovery tool different from a federated search one is:
    • With a discovery tool, you are searching one, centralized index of records that the vendor has assembled; with federated search, your query is being transmitted simultaneously to all the vendors that you can connected to your fed search tool. Search results are returned faster in discovery tools because of this difference.
    • The vendor of a discovery tool can normalize all the data stored in its index, making results more consistent (and helping to speed up the delivery of search results) and manipulable (the facetting of results works better in discovery tools).
    We wondered if many faculty outside the library use Bearcat as a means to identifying databases that were previously unknown to them but might be useful for their research needs.

    ERM System

    We might have demos of two different ERM (electronic resource management) products this June.

    Citation Management Tools

    We wondered to what extent faculty and students are aware of and maybe use citation management options available to them:

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    Competing Visions of the Semantic Web

    A couple of recent resources have appeard lately that offer interesting entry points into discussions about what the semantic web is about and whether it is a reasonable vision of the future of web development.

    • Web 3.0 Documentary. This 14-minute documentary by Kate Ray includes interviews with Clay Shirky, David Weinberg, and Tim Berners-Lee among others.

    Web 3.0 from Kate Ray on Vimeo.

    • “The Fate of the Semantic Web.” This report by Janna Anderson and Lee Rainie from the Pew Internet & American Life Project presents the results of a survey of authorities on technology and the web about whether Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the semantic web would likely come to fruition by 2020. Respondents will split on this question. The most interesting part of the report, though, is not the survey data but the comments from respondents, which offer a great range of views on why the semantic web will or will not develop noticeably by 2020 and why.
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    Unusual Uses of LibGuides

    In addition to using LibGuides to create subject pages and course pages, libraries have used LibGuides for a few other interesting projects:

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