Monthly Archives: March 2011

Baruch Faculty Members Modeling How They Research

I’m really excited by a project that the Writing Center is working on and that was previewed at today’s Teaching and Technology Conference. Keri Bertino and a student employee at the Writing Center have been editing a series of videotaped interviews they conducted with faculty members. In the interviews, the faculty members explain what research looks like in their discipline and talk about a specific exemplary work. Each faculty member answered a series of questions posed by the interviewers:


  1. Why do people write in your field?
  2. What kinds of questions are writers in your field trying to answer with their writing?


  1. What is the format or organization of a typical article in your field?
  2. What citation style does your field usually use?


  1. How is an argument usually introduced in writing in your field?
  2. How is that argument usually developed?


  1. What kind of evidence or research is used in your field?
  2. How is this evidence, research, or data used?
  3. How is previous scholarship and research used in writing in your field?
  4. How might a writer in your field address existing or potential conflicting theories or arguments?


  1. What kind of “voice” is appropriate to writing in your field?
  2. How might it be appropriate to insert the author’s point of view or experience into this writing?


  1. Are there any other characteristics or qualities of writing that seem typical of your field?

For students:

  1. What do you want a student to do and to learn when you ask them to write in your field?
  2. As they prepare to write, what questions should students ask themselves?
  3. What difficulties did you first encounter when writing in this field?

Once the videos are edited, they will be posted on the Writing Center website. I can imagine that these interviews could be really useful in our instructional efforts, as we try to help students understand what research really is in all its academic varieties. To give you a better sense of what this project is about, you may want to check out this teaser video made by Keri Bertino and her assistant in preparation for the presentation at today’s conference.

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A second video pulls together a sample of the responses that faculty gave to the questions and offers a nice preview of what the final videos will look like.

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Tech Sharecase, 18 March 2011

Arthur Downing, Stephen Francoeur, Louise Klusek, Ryan Phillips, Mike Waldman

Website Redesign
We went to the website of the company that will be handling the redesign of the library’s site, Greane Tree Technology, and then to the site of one of their clients, the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

While talking about the new home page for the Baruch site, we snickered at this cartoon from xckd:

University Website

While discussing the value of having student input for our redesign, we took a look at this student-led website, Baruch Connect, which is not authorized by the college.

Baruch College’s iPhone App
We ended by briefly talking about the new iPhone app for Baruch College.

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Tech Sharecase, 4 March 2011

Janey Chao, Lisa Ellis, Stephen Francoeur, Harold Gee, Joseph Hartnett, Jin Ma, Rita Ormsby, Michael Waldman, Kevin Wolff

We had a wide-ranging discussion of ebooks and ebook readers:

  • HarperCollins limiting ebook checkouts on titles in OverDrive to 26 times
  • Video by public librarians identifying HarperCollins print titles that have circulated
    HarperCollins 26+ checkouts

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  • criteria we have in mind when we are considering adding an ebook to the library collection:
    • # of simultaneous users
    • is it a license  or a purchase (with hosting fees)
  • the kinds of titles where an ebook might make sense:
    • reference books
    • heavily circulated titles (such as Malcolm X’s autobiography)
    • frequently stolen or lost titles
    • technical books
    • manuals and handbooks
    • test prep books
    • books on hot button topics
    • poetry and short story collections
    • literature anthologies
  • Sarah Glassmeyer’s blog post (“HCOD, eBook User Bill of Rights and Math“) about whether a boycott of Harper would have any noticeable affect
  • ebrary is working on a service that would let users download titles
  • Arthur’s blog post about e textbooks
  • Flatworld Knowledge
  • another CIS class will use the Kindles this spring
  • putting public domain works used in the Great Works class on a reader
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Website Redesign Tips

As we get closer to beginning the redesign of the library’s website, it would be great if all of us tried to share whatever resources we find useful that relate to web design.

Here are the slides from two librarians who will be presenting on web design in libraries at the Computers in Libraries conference, which just started today.

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I learned a fun new word while listening to a podcast of On the Media today: churnalism. The word defines the practice of journalists who rely more on press releases than on their own original reporting. On the podcast, the host and his guest talk about a fake press release on a new “chastity garter belt” that was being introduced to the market and the way that many news organizations took the press release at face value. This might be a useful story to bring up in our workshops and credit classes.

Listen to the “Churning Out PR” segment from the 4 March 2011 episode of On the Media.

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Googlization of Everything

Siva Vaidhyanathan’s 2010 book, The Googlization of Everything: (And Why We Should Worry), has been on my to-read list for a while now (the library’s copy is on order). In the meanwhile, I got a really good overview of the issues Vaidhyanathan wants to raise from this podcast from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, where the author recently spoke.

On a related note, I want to say that if there were just one podcast that I could recommend to academic librarians, I would suggest MediaBerkman, which pulls together the interviews done at the center as well as the presentations by scholars.

MediaBerkman: home page | podcast feed

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