Monthly Archives: September 2010

Google Search Stories

This afternoon, using the Google Search Stories service I spent all of 5 minutes putting together this video on open access. I’m wondering if there might be an interesting and fun classroom activity to do with students that has them using this service.

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CUNY Academic Commons

A post on the Wired Campus blog from the Chronicle of Higher Education features the CUNY Academic Commons, a social network for CUNY faculty, staff, and grad students that uses open source software. If you’re not on the CUNY Academic Commons, it is an interesting way to find colleagues across CUNY who may be working on projects similar to your own. If you do create an account, feel free to friend me there.

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Personal Librarians for Freshman

This Fall Semester, Drexel University has assigned each of their 2,750 freshman a personal librarian. This “Personal Librarian Program” was drawn from similar programs at Yale and other institutions. The Drexel Library program has been been mentioned in articles in the Chronicle of Higher EducationLibrary Journal and other publications.

Dr. Danuta Nitecki, dean of libraries at Drexel, was quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, “The program is a natural extension of what libraries have done for a long time, but now we are adding a more personal element.” The role of the personal librarian is designed to be introductory, where the student will use the librarian as a primary contact for using the library throughout the year. Twenty librarians support the Personal Librarian Program.

An article in Medical Reference Services Quarterly details the results from a librarian and student experience survey of the Personal Librarian program at Yale’s Cushing/Medical Library. This program was established in 1996. The mission here was to “encourage more personal contact with individual students.” The results of a student satisfaction survey shows 95% of survey respondents knew who there Personal Librarian was, and that 53% had taken initiative to contact them for guidance on library materials and other questions. The following is a link to Yale University Library’s guide to what a personal librarian does:

Spak, Judy M., and Janis G. Glover. “The Personal Librarian Program: An Evaluation of a Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Outreach Initiative.” Medical Reference Services Quarterly 26.4 (2007): 15-25. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text. EBSCO. Web. 29 Sept. 2010.

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Tech Sharecase, 3 September 2010

Janey Chao, Arthur Downing, , Stephen Francoeur, Jin Ma, Rita Ormsby, Ryan Phillips, Stella VarverisMichael Waldman, Kevin Wolff

We began the meeting by watching the Arcade Fire music video for “We Used to Wait.” The video makes use of the native video and audio capabilities of HTML5 and incorporates a mashup of Google street views. It’s a clever video and a good song too. Currently, some browsers do not display HTML5 and the Arcade Fire video has to be played in Google Chrome.

WordCamp NYC 2010
Baruch BCTC is hosting WordCamp NYC 2010 October 16-18.

CUNY+ was discussed. We pondered how to add library locations to the book records–floor number, etc. Queens College places standard locating information in the location field in every CUNY+ records (e.g.,  Stacks (Call # A-L Level 4; Call # P-Z Level 5) PS3515.E37 O4 1952b ). We discussed the technical difficulties of adding site-specific information of every book in the library and how this would be complicated by the periodic physical shifting of our collection.

It was suggested that an algorithm could be added to the location field in the record that would generate the floor number.

New Technologies on Campus
We then discussed new technologies on campus. Clickers are being used more in the classroom. BCTC has invested in tablets and wireless VGA ports to help instructors untether themselves from the podium.

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Creative Commons Workshop at NYPL

The Mid-Manhattan library’s presentation on the Creative Commons (Thursday, Sept. 30, 8:30-9:30pm) will cover: “1) What is Creative Commons? 2) Where can I download music, books and movies for free? 3) How can I share things I create with others?” You may want to share this with students.

Registration, location information, and etc can be found here.

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Dreaming about the Future of the Book

The design team at IDEO just put out this video exploring three different models for ebooks that greatly expand on the concept of a “book.” I’m particularly intrigued by the first one, Nelson, which seems to embed a book into related discourses about it and the topics it covers.

The Future of the Book. from IDEO on Vimeo.

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Tech Sharecase, 17 September 2010

Arthur Downing, Stephen Francoeur, Joseph Hartnett, Ellen Kaufman, Rita Ormsby, Ryan Phillips, Michael Waldman

Google Maps Mania
We looked at some of the mashups of Google Maps found on the site, Google Maps Mania:

  • Commute Map (enter a ZIP code and see where residents commute to or where people are coming from who commute to that ZIP code)
  • Public Data Explorer (this Google Labs project visualizes large data sets on maps)

Using Google Maps Drag and Zoom
We looked at an Google Map Labs tool (Drag ‘n’ Zoom) that you can turn on in Google Maps that lets you zoom in by drawing a square with your mouse on a map region.

Death of Bloglines
In talking about the recent announcement that Bloglines, a feed reader, would be shutting its service down soon, we discussed the increasing reliance of some on Twitter and Facebook for alerts to notable items from RSS feeds (especially blog posts).

Students on Twitter
We talked about whether it seems like more Baruch students are on Twitter these days and fewer are on Facebook. If you look at the Twitter search on “baruch college” you’ll see that a number of the tweets are clearly from students. It also appears to be the case that campus use of Skype is larger than expected.

Summon Adds Its 100th Customer
An announcement from Serials Solutions about Summon led to this interesting article by Sean Fitzpatrick in American Libraries.

Libraries Acquring Ebooks Rights?
An interesting blog post by Eric Hellman about whether it might make sense for a national consortium of libraries to form that would try to negotiate for rights to select ebooks.

Hathi Trust
We took a look at the Hathi Trust website to figure out what exactly the project offers (backup and preservation of digitized books). We then played around with the search inside books feature and compared it to Google Book Search and the Internet Archive’s collection of digitized books.

Google Instant
We discussed whether Google Instant might improve our students’ search skills or worsen them.

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New USG Website

Undergraduate Student Government recently released its own website  It provides some insight into the  type of information that students are interested in receiving  about the college, as well as  how they would like it organized and presented.  The clubs section links to the public area of a hosted service that we license to manage club finances.  A few of the features, such as the reporting of problems to USG, will be incorporated into the iPhone app.  At some point the University will send them a “cease and desist” letter for unauthorized use of the College’s name on a .com site, but in the meantime we can learn something about how we should re-design our own site.

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