Tag Archives: QR codes

Tech Sharecase, 20 January 2012


Janey Chao, Arthur Downing, Stephen Francoeur, Jin Ma, Rita Ormsby, Linda Rath, Mike Waldman


Arthur led a demo of ooVoo, which is web conferencing software that the college has a campus-wide subscription to. You can use it for web-based:

  • one-to-one phone calls
  • one-to-many phone calls (conference calls)
  • one-to-one video chats
  • one-to-many video conference calls

The software includes screen sharing, which lets you show live what is on your screen with anyone you are having a video chat or video conference call with.

Another great feature is that you can initiate a phone call or a video chat with people who don’t have even have an ooVoo account. Instead, you send them a special URL that invites them to call/chat with you via the web. Once that other person clicks that link, they are asked to type in their name, and then click a button that will notify you via ooVoo desktop software that someone’s trying to reach you.

This software might be useful for:

  • faculty office hours
  • distance/online education
  • meetings with other librarians in CUNY and beyond

To get the ooVoo software installed on your work computer, you’ll need to contact the BCTC Help Desk.

QR Codes

Linda mentioned her use of QR codes on her profile page in the LibGuides system. When scanned with a smartphone, the code will send Linda’s contact information into the user’s address book. She used the i-nigma service to create the original QR code. Stephen talked about his use of bit.ly to create a short URL for the library’s customized Google Scholar link:


In bit.ly, each short URL that you create gets its own tracking page in your bit.ly account that gives you stats on the use of that short URL and also gives you a QR code for the URL in case you wanted to share that as well.

Usability Testing on on the New Library Site

Stephen described the first round of usability testing that was recently completed on the new library site (10 students performing three, pre-defined tasks each). We watched a video from one of the tests to get a sense of what usability tests look like and to see how one student reacted to the new site. Changes will be made to the redesigned site based on this round of tests and will lead to a second round of testing.

We talked about a model of testing that web design expert Steve Krug recommends in his 2010 book, Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems. Krug suggests doing monthly tests with just three test participants. Instead of having a single observer watching and taking notes of what transpires between the test participant and test moderator, he argues for setting up a conference room filled with interested parties (web developers, etc. for that site being tested) who watch the tests live, take their own notes, and then convene after the testing session to come up with a list of top things to fix. According to a recent blog post by Matthew Reidsma, a web services librarian at Grand Valley State University, he’s started doing testing in this very manner and recommends it.

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Tech Sharecase, 9 July 2010

Attendees:  Arthur Downing, Stephen Francoeur, Ryan Phillips, Jim Livornese, Michael Waldman.

We began the sharecase by welcoming Jim Livornese, the new Director of Instructional Technology & Client Services at Baruch College. We spent some of our time talking to him about the library’s technology needs.

We also entertained a brief discussion of Drupal and METRO’s offer of two July courses on Drupal.  Courses are full and registration is closed. NYPL is also hosting a NYPL Drupal Camp at the end of August which is also full.  The interest in Drupal may have to do with  NYPL’s recent move to Drupal.

Usage of Online Tools

We then discussed a lead from AL Direct referring to a WebJunction survey on librarians’ use of technology tools entitled “Library Staff Report Their Use of Online Tools” The methodology for the survey is not given, so we were somewhat wary of the results; however, it showed librarians are lagging behind in the use of newer online tools such as RSS feeds and Blogs (see image below).

We then discussed finding a way for the library to place books in the public domain on the Kindle, or similar device–Nook or Sony e-Reader, et cetera. Books to be targeted will be English classics that are required reading for literature courses on campus.

The conversation then moved to the iPhone QR code reading application iCandy from Ricoh Innovations. Richoh is also working on integrating visual search into the application. This will allow users to point their device at text on a newspaper, for example, and the app will retrieve results based on the text that is read. It’s similar to the Shazzam application that listens to music and then recognizes the song that was played.

We then discussed the library’s purchase of  Kik Scanner Bookeye 2 and how to make it available for use in the library and to the Baruch community.

Lastly, we discussed the state and challenges of student printing.

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Tech Sharecase, 30 October 2009

Arthur Downing, Stephen Francoeur, Joseph Hartnett, Randy Hensley, Ellen Kaufman, Louise Klusek, Ryan Phillips

Google Discover Music
Talked about new Google Discover Music service in which search results are more socially based and about October 23, 2009, radio story from On the Media, “Charting the Charts,” which noted how Billboard is waning in influence and new services are appearing that measure music success differently. One such services is Band Metrics that ranks popularity not by sales but by an aggregation of metrics, including social ones. Search is changing the economic model for music rankings. Big Champagne offers another service that measures rankings using social aspects. What is a credible or reliable metric is shifting from authorities like SoundScan or Billboard to services that look at social use of media.

Google Social Search
This experiment from Google looks at who is in your social graph (your collection of online friends) so that it can present you with search results that are refined by content that your friends have posted online.

Google Reader
We looked at the way that people who use Google Reader can friend others who use the service and share notable feed items with each other.

Google Site Search Tool
The Baruch College website today unveiled its new site search engine powered by Google. The library website will be changing its search site software to Google soon as well.

2D Barcodes
Following up on Arthur’s comments on an earlier blog post here, We talked about 2D barcodes, QR codes, and their potential uses by colleges and libraries. We looked at the barcode service from ScanLife and the video about how Case Western Reserve University used ScanLife codes.

Mobile Websites for Libraries
We talked about various strategies for creating library websites that would render well on browsers in mobile phones.

Amazon Kindle vs. Barnes & Noble Nook
While talking about basic differences between new Nook reader coming out in November, we also discussed the Kindle loan program at North Carolina State University and how the service also offers patron-driven acquisitions (hear all the details about this on the Library 2.0 Gang podcast from September 2009 in which Orion Pozo from NCSU was interviewed).

TinyURL vs. HugeURL
TinyURL is a well-known service that will shrink a long URL with a brief one that redirects you to the original site. HugeURL is a funny spoof that turns short URLs into obscenely long ones.

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