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Monthly Archives: July 2011
We have a site registration to attend on the online Handheld Librarian V conference, which will be this week on Wednesday, July 27, and Thursday, July 28. Any library staff are encouraged to feel free to drop by room 320a starting at 11 am on those days to sit in on the presentations.
Here is a description from the conference organizers about the two-day event:
Day One of the Handheld Librarian V Conference, July 27, 2011, features professional development presentations for librarians by librarians. Presenters share their experiences and insights on topics addressing themes such as eBooks, location-based social networking, lending devices, reference and mobile technologies impacting society. Christina Warren of Mashable will share her insights in fast changing world of digital technologies.
Day Two of the HHLV will feature a FREE Virtual Expo of live presentations by companies and organizations providing mobile products and services for libraries. Visitors will be able to stop by virtual booths from companies such as Boopsie, Innovative Interfaces Inc, Tutor.com, Novare, Bibliofiche and Evanced, and visit in real-time in an informal setting with representatives from each company. Participants will meet Peter Booth Wiley, Chairman of the Board of John Wiley & Sons, as he shares his forward-looking thoughts regarding the evolving world of book publishing.
A detailed program for the event is also available.
The next meeting of the Tech Sharecase will be Thursday, July 28, from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm in room 320a in the library. Please bring at least one example of a technology that can be used to inspire and enable creativity in the classroom. By “c lassroom,” that can mean a physical space or an online space for distance ed classes.
Hope to see you there.
An interesting story related to copyright has been developing since last week. The story centers on photographs taken by a Macaque monkey in the company of nature photographer David Slater. During a photo expedition in Indonesia, Mr. Slater’s camera was briefly lifted by said monkey and while the camera was in her possession, she managed to snap a few spectacular photos of herself. Mr. Slater was able to retrieve his camera and the photographs were published in the Daily Mail earlier this month.
Techdirt posted the photos and wrote a short article that questioned who actually owns the copyright of the photos, if anyone. The Caters News Agency, representing David Slater, claims ownership but since the photographer, in this case the monkey, generally has the right to ownership, Techdirt’s Mike Masnick questioned the legitimacy of this claim. This article is linked below:
Masnick, Mike. “Monkey Business: Can A Monkey License Its Copyrights To A News Agency?” Techdirt. Web. 7 July 2011.
Then, last week, Techdirt posted another article detailing the correspondence between a representative at Caters News Agency and Mike Masnick where the former requests the latter remove the photos from the Techdirt website. This request came about despite the ambiguity of the copyright law with respect to photographs of such origin. Citation/link below:
Masnick, Mike. “Monkeys Don’t Do Fair Use; News Agency Tells Techdirt To Remove Photos.” Techdirt. Web. 12 July 2011.
This weekend, On the Media also covered this story cast in the broader context of the PROTECT IP Act, introduced to the Senate in May of this year.
On the Media. “Congress, copyrights and monkeys.” Web. 15 July 2011.
*I apologize for the simian pun.
Stephen Francoeur, Ellen Kaufman, Louise Klusek, Rita Ormsby, Mike Waldman
Attendees were asked to come to today’s meeting with something related to search (a new search engine, a new search feature or interface, an article or blog post about search, etc.)
Guide to Searching
We looked at a video tutorial and companion website from the library at the University of Massey (NZ) that walked users through the basics of search. We liked the website’s screenshot and the way the video had a table of contents that let you jump head to a specific section.
The library at the New York Law School has a search tool called DRAGNET that lets you find laws and other legal materials on various free legal databases. It was built using Google Custom Search. More details about how the service was put together can be found on this ACRL page. We wondered what it would be like to do something like this ourselves that searched a collection of open business-related databases on the web. We also talked about the plans for the Law.gov website, which are underway and will assemble a free resource of the nation’s laws.
One Search Boxes on Library Websites
Following up the discussion of search tools built with Google Custom Search, we looked at a Jamun, project being developed by the Leddy Library at the University of Windsor by Art Rhyno and Mita Williams. This tool will offer users a single box that searches across a number of different key resources. We also looked at the single search box (QuickSearch) that the library site at North Carolina State University features. We tried a bunch of different searches to see what comes up (notes of our searches didn’t get recorded, but you can try this one for “market share honda” as a useful example).
A Model for Teaching Search
We talked about librarian Iris Jastram’s model for teaching search, which she calls “exploding an article” and outlines in this blog post at Pegasus Librarian. In the classroom, students are introduced to the concept of being able to take one scholarly article that is relevant to them and use it to move in different directions to find others like it:
- using Web of Science, you can move forward in time by looking for articles that have cited the one in hand
- using the bibliography in the article, you can move back in time by tracking down the sources that the author used
- using key terms in the article or in the descriptors for that article in a database, you can move to the sides to find articles that are about the same things
We looked at a draft of a Newman Library toolbar that was built using the free LibX service. The toolbar features a search box for the library catalog, for the e-journals lookup tool, and for Bearcat. It also turns ISBNs, ISSNs, and DOIs into clickable links that will run lookups in relevant search tools from the library. Finally, it places an icon on the pages describing books in Amazon and other online booksellers; when the icon is clicked, the toolbar runs a search for that item in our catalog. This toolbar for our library is still being finished up and will be available soon.
Arthur Downing, Stephen Francoeur, Randy Hensley, Curtis Izen, Ellen Kaufman, Jin Ma, Mike Waldman, Kevin Wolff
The focus this day was on website design. Attendees were asked to come with any notable website that featured interesting design elements or that was about website design.
LibX Toolbar at Murdoch Library
Libraries can create toolbars via the free LibX service that users can install in their browsers. The toolbar features search boxes for the library’s catalogs and other resources, automated linking from ISBNs and ISSNs on websites to a catalog lookup, and more. We watched this video by librarian Kathryn Greenhill that explains to library users at Murdoch Library how to get the most out of its LibX toolbar.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/Dqo24nS2MHw" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
Elsevier’s Guide to Web Design
We took a look a 2004 guide published by Elsevier, How to Design Library Web Sites to Maximize Usability (pdf).
We talked about how website design depends on striking a balance between competing demands:
- innovation vs. predictability (new approaches and ideas to design are always needed but you have to mindful of the expectations of the user who has gotten used to things on the web looking and behaving in certains ways)
- text vs. images (how to balance the use of words and images for the purposese of site and page navigation; for communication of important information; and for use as mnemonic devices that help users who return to your site and want to find their way around again based on their recall of how things worked the last time they visited)
Mathews, Brian. “Web Design Matters” Library Journal, 15 Feb. 2009.
This Library Journal article by Brian Mathews from 2009 offered some good design advice.
NCSU Libraries: Learning Commons
The website for the learning commons at NCSU Libraries had a number of features that caught our eye:
- “Top Viewed FAQs This Week”
- Widget displaying photos and videos on Flickr (although we questioned what the point of this was)
- Technology lending widget that offers slideshow of gadgets you can borrow
College Library Website of the Month
The College Libraries Section of ACRL offers a monthly showcase of notable library sites.
Intrigued by the somewhat similar needs of a museum website (hours/directions, online exhibits, offer access to resources), we took a look at a number of websites to see if they had any interesting design elements:
- American Museum of Natural History
- Museum of the Moving Image (we were struck by the cool grid design)
- The Exploratorium
The One-Pager is the creation of
two three librarians (Aaron Schmidt and Amanda Etches-Johnson) who have a web design business, Influx together, and Nate Hill. They designed a super streamlined template that libraries can download and freely use. We agreed that this interesting design really would work only for small public libraries but it was notable all the same, especially because it was designed with mobile users in mind first.
Super Stripped Down Library Home Page
One idea that came up at the very end of the meeting was to imagine what a library home page would be like if it had nothing other than two search boxes on it: search for sources and search for services. The first search box would be a single box that would get articles, books, images, data, etc. The second box would be return results from an index of the library website.