Tag Archives: Surveys

Tech Sharecase, 14 September 2012

NFC (Near Field Communication)
We watched this video to learn more about this new technology that is increasingly being found in new smart phones.

The video shows how small tags that look like little stickers can be programmed to communicate with NFC-enabled phones and transmit messages or commands to the phone.

Mobile Device Usage at Each CUNY Campus
We took a look at the latest annual “Student Experience Survey” (pdf) from CUNY’s Office of Institutional Research to see data on what technologies students use regularly (see table 6a, which begins on page 22). We were surprised that 74% of Baruch students report regular use of a smart phone, a number higher than what we had expected.

We shared a number of hacks and workarounds for LibGuides.

Make the tabs for a page taller by inserting the HTML tag <br> in between two of the words in the page name:

For an example of a guide with tall page tabs, see Sandy Roff’s recent guide to European history.

We also talked about the custom fields that we can add to the template for all librarian profile boxes. Those fields could include things like space for a biography, recent publications, courses taught, etc. The admins for our account can set this up. For details on what’s involved in setting it up (just a few minute’s work), see this help guide from Springshare: Additional Fields – Profiles in LibGuides.

If you want to link to a specific box on a specific page, you can get the URL for that box by following these steps:

  1. Click “Edit” in the top right corner of the box you are interested in and then select “Edit Box Info” from the sub-menu that appears.
  2. In the “Edit Box Info” window that opens, click the tab labeled “Box Link and Embed Code”
  3. The URL for that box should be the first thing shown on the tab you’ve opened. Copy that URL and use wherever you want to send your user straight to that specific box.

If we want to republish a box on some other web page (such as a page on the library website), you can just grab the embed code that appears in the same place you get the box link.

Finally, we looked at the way that you can use an image instead of text for a link. When you are adding links in a “Link Box” you can use the HTML for an image in the “link title” field:

So on the “Managing the Sources You Find” box on the guide for undergraduate honors theses, the link for Zotero doesn’t just have the plain text “Zotero” but instead an image found on the Zotero website. You can find the URL for an image you want to use this way by going to another site with the image you want and then right clicking on the image; after you right click, look for a menu option labeled “copy image location.” That will grab the URL for the image that you’ll need when you are adding the link in your LibGuide.

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Student Use of Technology During Finals

This week, a new report came out from Project Information Literacy that details the findings of a study about how students use technology while in the library to cram for finals. There’s a long report (that I haven’t read yet) and, for those of us visually minded, this pleasant and breezy video summary.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/2-M5qL6HaG0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

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How Students Feel about Library Architecture and Design

An article in the September 2011 issue of College and Research Libraries details the findings of a fascinating study into the way students perceive library architecture (exteriors and interiors), specifically modern vs. traditional design. The most compelling conclusion was that students value highly having books around them in the library even if those books may go unused:

If asked, students may not state that they want visible stacks in the library; in fact, if asked whether they intend to use the books on the shelves, they may say they have no intention of using them. However, if the stacks are taken completely away, they may feel a keen detrimental effect. Therefore, it is important to examine the academic library from this affective perspective prior to planning new construction or making any drastic changes in the design and model of the traditional library, rather than relying on student input in the simplistic form of “Please let us know what you’d like to see in the new library.” While students may request a coffee shop, computer stations, and the latest technology, this cannot reflexively be considered to be a wish for those things to the exclusion of more traditional design and items. Traditional and modern elements can happily coexist, but careful planning and sensitivity to these subtle, but significant, desires are required. (p. 437)

In designing the survey instrument for the study, the authors wanted to discover to what extent students had feelings about libraries as spiritual, sanctified places. They discovered that students had even stronger feelings about the spirituality of libraries than was expected and that those feelings should be kept in mind during re-designs of older libraries and construction of new ones:

This empirical study affirmed our hypothesis that spaces deemed as “sacred” or “sanctified” produce affective benefits for people that extend beyond attitudes and into the realm of behavior (projected library use). Circulation statistics do not measure these benefits; students may not actually use the books on the shelves, but they “sanctify” the books—being around the books makes them feel more scholarly and connected to the institution’s educational mission. This type of response is borne out in the literature examining the affective responses to sacred spaces. Being in the presence of sanctified objects increases the worshipper’s spiritual experience even if the worshipper does not technically “use” the objects. Within this context, the overall contribution of “spiritual” library items to the greater sacred ambience should not be taken lightly. While students clearly value computers in libraries, paradoxically they do not like tech-heavy–looking spaces; students want new technologies presented in traditional academic surroundings.These findings have implications for new construction and remodels. (p. 436)

Jackson, Heather Lea, and Trudi Bellardo Hahn. “Serving Higher Education’s Highest Goals: Assessment of the Academic Library as Place.” College & Research Libraries 72.5 (2011): 428 -442. Web. 14 Oct. 2011.


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Baruch Student Cell Phone Carriers

We recently polled our students about their cell phone service carriers. Here are the results based on 3,437 respondents:

T-Mobile = 36%
AT&T = 30%
Verizon = 21%
Sprint = 9%
Metro/PCS = 2%
Nextel = < 1%
Other = 2%

We will be using this data to improve some services on campus. I will update this post with the details.

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Competing Visions of the Semantic Web

A couple of recent resources have appeard lately that offer interesting entry points into discussions about what the semantic web is about and whether it is a reasonable vision of the future of web development.

  • Web 3.0 Documentary. This 14-minute documentary by Kate Ray includes interviews with Clay Shirky, David Weinberg, and Tim Berners-Lee among others.

Web 3.0 from Kate Ray on Vimeo.

  • “The Fate of the Semantic Web.” This report by Janna Anderson and Lee Rainie from the Pew Internet & American Life Project presents the results of a survey of authorities on technology and the web about whether Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the semantic web would likely come to fruition by 2020. Respondents will split on this question. The most interesting part of the report, though, is not the survey data but the comments from respondents, which offer a great range of views on why the semantic web will or will not develop noticeably by 2020 and why.
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