Monthly Archives: January 2013

Should E-book Reissues of Long Out of Print Books Have Updated Info

An interesting story in the New York Times today discusses the e-book reissue of A.M. Rosenthal’s 1964 book on the Kitty Genovese case, Thirty-Eight WitnessesAt question is whether the e-book should include a disclaimer indicating that many of the claims made in the book have been seriously undermined by research over the years. A quote that got my attention was:

The book, which went in and out of print over the decades, also kept the case alive for generations of students studying “Genovese Syndrome,” a description of why onlookers turn away from bad events and the diffusion of responsibility.

I’m thinking that I might use this as a point of discussion in my LIB 3040 class this semester.

Kaufman, Leslie. “Releasing Old Nonfiction Books When Facts Have Changed.” The New York Times 30 Jan. 2013. Web. 31 Jan. 2013.

h/t Margaret Smith at NYU’s Bobst Library

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Mobile Apps for Information Professionals

A recent article from the Business Information Review features mobile applications of interest to information professionals and researchers. Many of the apps mentioned are being used by librarians here, but there are few that were new to me.

Hoovers has two apps providing access to basic Hoover’s company information. They can be found here: The Hoover’s apps are only available for iPhones so as an Android user I can’t vouch for the content of these applications.

Also highlighted in the article is the federal government’s application portal: This great resource currently provides access to 250+ applications from many government offices, agencies, etc., covering a wide range of information topics.

Read more:

Brown, Scott. “Mobile Apps: Which Ones Really Matter to the Information Professional?” 29.4 (2012): 231–237. 

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Running Reports on Your LibGuides

Thanks to the “Statistics” module in LibGuides (you have to log in to see it), you can run reports that can help you answer questions like:

  • On this particular guide I did, what links are getting clicked the most and the least?
  • Which page on this guide is getting the most views?
  • Which guide of mine has gotten the most views?

If you’re interested in looking at statistics that cut across all of our LibGuides, you can do fun things like run a report on the Databases page to see what database links are most often clicked on during a specific time period:

Database links on Databases page ranked by clicks--26 Dec 2012 through 22 Jan 2013

Or you can see what LibGuides got the most page views during a time period you define:

Most popular LibGuides between 1 Jul 2012 and 22 Jan 2013

How to Get to the Statistics

  • Login at the “Admin Signin Link” on the top right of any LibGuide
  • Once you’re logged in, click “Statistics” from the yellow bar at the top of the page:

LibGuides--Statistics on dashboard

  • Use the drop down to select which guide of yours you want to analyze:


  • The default report you’ll see for any guide you select focuses on the pages in that guide and ranking them by views:

Default report view

  • Click “Links” to run a report listing the links on your guide as ranked by clicks:

Stats on links on Psychology LibGuide

For the report on links, keep in mind this important caveat noted in the Springshare documentation:

Links is a sum of the clicks on specific content in your guides; these clicks are tracked in Simple Web Links, Links and Lists, Books from the Catalog, Documents and Files, and Dates and Events box types. They are not tracked in the Rich Text Box.

In other words, links you’ve manually added in blank spaces in various boxes won’t be counted; links that have been added using the link lists feature will be counted:

What links are counted


Feel free to ask me for help running and interpreting these reports.

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Viral Culture in the Nineteenth Century and Today

Interesting story posted on The Atlantic a few days ago about how the kids in a family made a video on YouTube that hit one million views in only seven hours. The father of the children happens to be an academic presently studying nineteenth century newspapers and how stories were virally propagated in the media at that time.

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A Sense of Humor at the Cooper-Hewitt

I heard that Micah Walter’s presentation at yesterday’s annual meeting for METRO, “Open Data at the Smithsonian” revealed a strong sense of humor in the web work going on at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Reading over Walter’s presentation, which is posted on his blog, I can see what everyone was talking about. Here’s a choice quote that explains the rationale behind the humor:

We also wanted our website to be more approachable. We designed it with a minimalistic attitude and a somewhat whimsical style. You’ll see small jokes here and there and the language is meant to be more engaging and less “institutional.” We know that in order to be really relevant we need to disconnect ourselves from all of the institutional hand waving and move towards a website that anyone can enjoy and still gain some type of great benefit.

The museum maintains a “Cooper-Hewitt Labs” site that also offers doses of humor:

  • the central nav bar on the site features a “+Cats” link that when clicked runs the Nyan Cat across the screen (the Nyan Cat meme is explained over at Know Your Meme)
  • the usual message at the bottom of an experimental project page that mentions what software powers the site gets a little twist: Powered by Isotope and several hundred chocolate covered coffee beans.

This reminds me of a great little book I read last year, Aaron Walter’s Designing for Emotionthat argues that web design needs to prioritize efforts to make an affective connection with users.

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