Tag Archives: Telephone reference

Tech Sharecase, 18 September 2009

Arthur Downing, Stephen Francoeur, Mikhail Gershovich, Tom Harbison, Gerry Jiao, Louise Klusek, Ryan Phillips, Linda Rath, Luke Waltzer

Mobile Web Development
A recent post by John Blossom on Robin Good’s blog (“Future of Mobile Web Applications: Applications Centered or Browser Centric?”) argues that the era we are in now of downloadable apps for phones may parallel the early days of the web when AOL and Compuserve offered the web via walled gardens; as the web developed, users left those walled gardens behind mostly and explored the open web. Blossom argues that the mobile apps are somewhat like AOL and Compuserve in that they enclose a small world of the web to make it manageable.

Google Voice
Stephen demonstrated Google Voice using his personal account, showing how it unifies phone numbers , allows web-based access to voice mail (including transcripts of those messages), and the abilit to send and receive SMS. Some libraries are using it for a text message reference service. The web-based interface for voice mail messages would be useful for a telephone reference service.

Blogging for Freshman Seminar
Luke talked about the blogging initiative for the Freshman Seminar this fall. In just two weeks, there are already 600 blog posts. You can search across all the blogs to see how students are talking about the library. As most students are new to blogging, the college offers guidelines for them. As a test of the possibility of making student blogs universal at Baruch, students in the Baruch Scholars sections of the freshman seminar will get to keep their blog accounts after the seminar is over and may continue to post.

We also discussed how the FRO blogging initiative and the Schwartz Institutes VOCAT tool might be incorporated into the library’s evolving plan for videos created by FRO students. (Note: VOCAT was discussed at the 25 June 2009 meeting of the Tech Sharecase.)

Online Video
As we discussed how student videos could be shared, it was noted that CUNY set up YouTube accounts for each college (Baruch’s is here). Our library had already set it up its own YouTube channel a few years ago. We discussed the functionality of our Digital Media Library and that there is an upgrade of it being planned now.

Stephen showed the LibGuides system briefly, including a draft of one of the guides that the committee working with testing the software has created. It was noted that LibGuides offers embed codes and a Facebook application that allows you to deploy widget versions of a guide.

Space for CUNY Faculty to Share Instructional Materials

Mikhail brought up Curriki as an interesting model for a project he’s part of that is looking for ways to make instructional materials created by CUNY faculty made available online. CUNY’s nascent institutional repository, a hosted DSpace instance, was mentioned as another possible tool that could be a part of the solution. MERLOT was also mentioned, although its collection is limited to multimedia instructional materials.

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Tech Sharecase, 6 August 2009


Randy Hensley, Louise Klusek, Mike Waldman, Stephen Francoeur, Ryan Phillips, Arthur Downing, Frank Donnelly, Rita Ormsby.


We discussed the history of AirBaruch and potential new services the library would want to offer.

Text Message Reference
Some ideas on how to market chat reference were shared, including promoting it as a service for students “on the go.” Since students are using the chat service from the convenience of their workstations, mobile devices, et cetera, it might be ideal to market chat reference as a service for “where you are.” NYU has a shared phone to cover the service.

Phone Reference

The text message reference led to a discussion on how we provide phone reference. We discussed to what extent
should we promote and field reference questions at the reference desk? We also discussed how we could expand this service.

E-textbooks and E-books

Stephen discussed a pilot project for patron-initiated acquisitions of e-books at BMCC.

The library has been given funds to purchase textbooks in the fall for students; we are looking into the possibility of using some of that money to buy textbooks in an e-book format.

Mike is working with a CIS professor whose class has 2 required books that will be in ebook format (one a Kindle form and the other Books24x7). Newman Library will provide the Kindle.

Supporting Baruch’s Film Studies Minor

With the introduction of a new film studies minor, the library is looking into ways we can provide films to support the classes.
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