Library Gazette

During August 2009...

The Bridge Quietly Opens ZSR Services

Monday, August 31, 2009 3:30 pm

First Day at the Bridge!

Student assistants Rebekah Warner and Brad Binder work the first shift at the Bridge.

ZSR Library is partnering with the University’s Information Systems to bring a new combined service to the space in the library that previously housed the Information Technology Center.

ZSR technology services will continue to be offered with a multimedia lab equipped with scanners and audio and video capturing stations. The screening room now includes a multimedia center with video production equipment. Instruction is available by appointment or as needed during use of the space. The screening room can be booked for group or class use. Digital still and video cameras, along with other equipment, can be checked out from The Bridge.

We are very excited that the IS Service Desk will join The Bridge later this fall. Students, faculty and staff will then be able to bring their University issued laptops to this area to get help on hardware and software issues. Stop in to visit the new space and check back for updates as the moving date for the IS Service Desk gets closer.

Once both services are in place and operational, we plan to have a Grand Opening celebration of the new combined services.

Mary and Giz’s Awesome Adventure

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 1:08 pm

Yesterday afternoon, Giz and I presented “Technology Tools for the Classroom” to an off-site faculty retreat of the Schools of Business. You may recall that the Calloway and Babcock schools have merged under a single dean; the combined faculty met at the Brookstown Inn for the day to kick off the new academic year. Michelle Roehm, Sr. Assoc. Dean of Faculty, invited Giz and me to present some new tools; after consulting with her we agreed to present Twitter, Google tools and LibGuides.

A quick poll revealed that faculty members aren’t using Twitter. Giz and I briefly described the micro-blogging site while showing it on two screens. We explained that it serves as a personalized news feed, a marketing channel and a social network. We demonstrated a Twitter feed we had created two weeks ago that assembled Tweets from such sources as the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes and Business Week. The feed also pulled Tweets from a handful of business schools and nationally known consultants. We showed how links in the Tweets will take the reader to the original article and shared that Twitter is the first place that breaking news can be found.

Twitter is used as a marketing channel by companies to announce promotions and new products, communicate with customers and in some cases, solve customer problems. Some companies use Twitter to solicit customer comments while designing or improving products. Others use the customer interaction on Twitter to build customer loyalty. Giz suggested that the Schools of Business could use Twitter for keeping in touch with alumni, especially the 20-somethings who have moved on from Facebook.

The social networking aspect of Twitter wasn’t our focus, but we told the group about Twibes and how this can connect a reader with other Twitterers interested in a topic. We did show them how to find feeds using Google or Twitter’s find people tool. We also demonstrated how to follow issues using hash tags; our examples were #Fed for the Federal Reserve Bank and #economy for the economy.

Google has many wonderful tools and Giz loves them all. With much enthusiasm, we showed the faculty how to use Google docs for collaborating on projects; that could include faculty collaborating on research or their students’ working on group projects. The power of Google docs quickly became apparent to the group, which expressed enthusiasm for it and generated lots of questions. After Giz had shown them the benefits of docs, he went on to tell them about Google sites, a tool that helps one construct a web site very easily. Google will also host that website up to 100 mg of memory for free. He also described how Google Wave is going to combine email, chat and documents into a single, powerful, free tool. His repeated reminders that all these Google tools are free earned him the nickname “The Prophet” before the session was finished.

After finishing with Google, we demonstrated LibGuides to the group. We showed that there is a long list of guides available; some are course-specific while others cover general topics. An example of the former is for ACC111, into which I’ve placed links to all the resources a student would need to successfully complete the final project for the class. The guide includes instructions on how to use the individual databases and features video and screen shots. The example we showed of the latter is Company and Industry Information, a topical guide serving numerous classes.

The group paid rapt attention and several faculty sought us out after the session to discuss how we might help them apply these technologies in their classes. We appreciated the opportunity to interact with the faculty and enjoyed our time with them.

New discovery interface for library resources

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 4:31 am

On Wednesday the Z. Smith Reynolds Library implemented a new discovery system for their library collections. The system, developed initially by Villanova University, employs innovative indexing and searching techniques to help patrons find and interact with library resources.

This new tool adds the ability for patrons to discover new relationships between resources through the use of faceted browsing, a technique which is commonly used on web-based stores such as Amazon. It also introduces new community-focused features such as the ability to add comments and tags to catalog records. These features allow library patrons to easily discover resources by combining several limiting criteria (such as format, location, and publication date) using dynamic links on the results page.

The system complements a suite of locally-developed and open source information systems that the library employs including the New Book/Film Walls, WakeSpace (a digital library of WFU collections), Book delivery and reserves services, and library-sponsored blogs and wikis for the university community.

Vufind poised to go live Wednesday!

Monday, August 24, 2009 10:23 am

Over the last few weeks, Kevin, Jean-Paul and I have been finalizing the release of our Vufind implementation by working through the list of issues and observations submitted by library staff in our wiki. We were able to resolve many of the issues but did choose to hide/work around certain functions that had too many problems to resolve in our current release. For full details on what was fixed, what was missed, and what we decided to leave for the next release you can hit the bottom of the page

The most recent load ran into a number of data issues related to the addition of a few pieces of information from the holdings and item records into the index, most notably 30 or so records that had invalid MARC tags which would kill our export scripts. In all, out of our 1.7 million records, only 11718 of them errored out. This represents less than .7% of our collection. We will have to address these errors before those records can be loaded.

Please take a few minutes and check out the current system. One of the neatest (in my opinion) features of the system is a broken out list of all of our libraries. We were able to generate this using our holdings data (which is included in another list). This means that we can now have a dedicated catalog for the music, and education, libraries not to mention our own popular video collection.

If you have additional feedback or bug reports – please submit them in our wiki using this link. There will be a staff presentation on Vufind on Tuesday at 3pm in room 476 during which you can find out more about the system.

Report on the 2009 New Faculty Orientation

Friday, August 21, 2009 11:57 am

As we all know, the ZSR Library acquired faculty status for its librarians as of July 1, 2009. Thus, as the first librarian hired after July 1, 2009, I was given the opportunity to participate in the Wake Forest University’s 2009 new faculty orientation. I am truly grateful and honored for being one the attendees at such a well planned and instructive orientation that lasted three days.

August 1, 2009 was the first day and the schedule was impressive. A continental breakfast was offered at the Teaching and Learning Center at the ZSR Library where new faculties had the opportunity to get acquainted and socialize. This was followed by a warm welcome from the Provost Jill Tiefenthaler who shook hands and exchanged few words with each new faculty. This strategy was so well thought of as it gave each new faculty the opportunity to be acknowledged individually by the provost. Jill graciously let us know that one of her priorities was professional development and therefore encouraged us to devote some time for scholarship without forgetting our first responsibility which is to set the bar high for teaching. The introduction of the Provost was followed by welcoming words from the different Associate Provosts who shared with us their experience working at Wake Forest. They were all pleased to be a part of the Wake Forest University community. It was quite encouraging to see that most of these folks have been here for many years.

After a quick break, the group was given a tour of Winston-Salem where a knowledgeable tour guide introduced Winston-Salem and took us to its historical background and cultural places including shops and restaurants downtown. Although I moved to Winston-Salem a couple of weeks prior to the orientation and had some time to look around, this tour made me discover new exciting places like Old Salem where I will definitely go back for a visit with my family.

The tour of Winston-Salem ended with a lunch at the Reynolda House where an introduction to this historical house was given by the Director Allison Perkins. This was followed by few presentations instructing us on the Reynolda House’s art resources. The group was then given a tour of the Reynolda House and we were all impressed by the historical richness of this house. The first day of the orientation ended with a ride back to the ZSR Library.

The second day of the new faculty orientation was August 14, 2009 at the Graylyn Conference Center – and – provided new faculties with significant information geared toward facilitating their integration into the Wake Forest University community. The schedule was impressive and covered the whole day. After a warm welcome from the Associate Dean of the College, Paul Ribisl, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, gave her opening comments. The message was clear and to the point with a walk through the Office of the Dean’s Website. She commented on her office’s organizational chart and emphasized on where to go for help. She also announced the ITGs and commented on their respective roles in the college. Additionally, the Dean of the college introduced the Student Athlete Services and the Learning Assistance Office and Program.

After the introduction of the Associate Deans and Support Staff, three Teacher Scholars gave a presentation on the Teacher Scholar Ideal at Wake Forest. The panel included J. K. Curry, from the Department of Theater and Dance, Christian Miller from the Department of Philosophy, and Akbar Salam from the Department of Chemistry. They all spoke the same language and gave us advice on how to effectively teach and communicate with students. One advice was to put together a syllabus that we would hand out to students the very first day of class in order for them to be aware of due dates for assignments and exams.

During our time at Graylyn, the new faculty group was also informed on the available opportunities for scholarship and creative activities. These opportunities include: guaranteed junior faculty leaves which provides junior faculties in tenure track with the opportunity to take one term off to complete a research or scholarly work, Reynolds sabbatical leaves which can be taken for one semester at full pay or a whole year at reduced pay, Archie Fund for the Arts and Humanities, and Wake Forest Scholars. This last activity led to a lunch break.

This lunch was so memorable that it certainly worth a whole paragraph. There were several chefs and servers to wait on new faculties. The menu was impressive and the food, absolutely tasty and abundant. We felt like royalty at that lunch and we all found it worth it to be there. The lunch was followed by more informative presentations.

Three faculty members shared their experiences on how to manage family and work at Wake Forest. The panel was comprised of Ann Cunningham from the Department of Education, Mary Dalton from the Department of Communication, and Dean Franco from the Department of English. Although the message was more for faculties with children, faculties with no dependents would use the information when they decide to have kids. This section led to a round table discussion of “The First Year”.

Three faculty members who have been at Wake Forest for one year talked about the varied challenges that new faculties experience within the first year on the service. This panel included Patricia Dos Santos from the Department of Chemistry, Sandya Hewamane from the Department of Anthropology, and Melissa Jenkins from the Department of English. This round table discussion gave us the opportunity to ask questions and share mutual ideas. Since several new faculties mentioned to me in private conversations prior to the round table discussion that the only thing missing in the orientation was a tour of the ZSR Library, I thought I should share these wishes with the orientation organizers, which I did.The round table was followed by a wine and cheese reception where I was approached by several new faculties including the Associate Dean of the College, Paul Ribisl, just to say thanks for bringing up the library tour wishes.

The third and last day of the new faculty orientation was Tuesday August 18, 2009. This last day was also well organized. After a nice breakfast, the new faculties were welcomed and introduced to the Human Resources by Angela Culler, Director of HR Operations. Following the HR introduction, Chief of Police, Regina Lawson gave a presentation on campus safety and talked about precaution measures that faculty members should take to protect themselves and their students. One of the most important discussions of the day included a presentation on benefits.

Benefit specialist, Coburn Dagenhart gave an informative presentation on “Understanding Your Benefits”. This was followed by a Q and A section on benefits with benefits staff. This benefits discussion section gave new faculties, including myself, the occasion to ask questions and make changes to benefit forms. The benefit section led to lunch and later to ThinkPad distribution.

The ThinkPad distribution was coordinated by Pat Idol from Information Systems. Here, new faculties were introduced to their new computers follow by a tutorial section where they were taught how to use their new laptops. Since I already had my laptop, I left the orientation and came back to work.

It was such a great opportunity for me to participate in this new faculty orientation as I left with tons of useful information that will help ease my transition into my new work environment. The first day was impressive and gave me the opportunity to discover Winston-Salem and to socialize with other new faculties. The second day was insightful and informative as it allowed me to learn what some of the challenges ahead of me are and how to effectively overcome them. The third and final day was also informative as it gave me the opportunity to better understand benefits and who to contact for campus safety and emergencies. I am glad the library acquired faculty status for its librarians as this expands the limits of their involvement in the Wake Forest University’s academic activities.

Welcome Back-New ZSR Exhibits-Fall 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009 9:33 am

The Power of Z- Library Services

The Power of “Z” -this exhibit highlights the services offered at the ZSR Library-in graphic novel style.

40th Anniversary of the First Manned Moon Landing exhibit

First on the Moon exhibit-highlights the 40th anniversary of the first man on the moon.

Andrew Wyeth exhibit

The great American painter, Andrew Wyeth, died in early 2009. This exhibit reviews his life and work.

Toolkit Day!

Friday, August 14, 2009 8:42 am

As the Toolkit continues to grow and have more applications, Kevin and I are taking a day to focus some energy on getting it in tip-top shape for the new school year.

For new folks to ZSR: the Toolkit is a service we provide to allow users to find help they need through our website. They can access it when we’re not here, or when they’re just looking to find the answer on their own. The Toolkit is comprised of a number of tools, which are very short narrated videos walking patrons through specific tasks. These videos can be accessed from the Toolkit, but also embedded in Blackboard, Libguides, and other websites.

Today is Toolkit day, and we invite you to stop on by to make a tool for the collection. Starting at 11:00am, at least one of us will be in our offices, with some Starbucks pastries, in case anyone wants to stop by and make one. We have two stations set up and ready to go, so you don’t even need to bring your ThinkPad.If you’d rather just phone us, we’ll make office-calls, too. If you’re new to the process, but want to see how it’s done, we have a page about it in the library wiki.

If you want to participate, but don’t have a tool in mind, we have a wish list of tools we’d like:
a picture for a work blog post
The “wanted” tools are requests that haven’t been created yet, and the “update” are tools referring specifically to our classic catalog interface, that should be duplicated in the new Vufind interface. We’ll be updating the list all day, so stop by to see the current wanted/update list!

By recording a tool, you’ll also be contributing to a PRIMO recognized project! Earlier this year, Susan recommended we nominate the Toolkit for PRIMO recognition, and we just found out that it was added to the list. PRIMO is a committee of the ACRL Instruction Section that was created to promote and share peer-reviewed instructional materials created by librarians. From their website: “The PRIMO Committee hopes that publicizing selective, high quality resources will help librarians to respond to the educational challenges posed by still emerging digital technologies.”

So, if you want to make a tool, have questions about the technical side, or have questions about the instructional design side, stop by and have a Starbucks pastry! We’re happy to help in any way we can! Here’s hoping that by the start of fall we have many new tools!

Gartner Hype Cycle report looks at cloud computing

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 4:40 am

The familiar hype cycle report from Gartner has been released for 2009. The NY times published a nice summary article that highlights some of the findings (including where Gartner stands on Twitter).

Of interest to the library techies may be the report on cloud computing. Cloud technologies on the rise include Cloud-based email and enterprise wide use of cloud computing while both virtualization (running multiple ‘computers’ on a singe set of hardware) and Software as a Service (Saas) are both rising on the ‘Slope of Enlightment’ according to Gartner. A great example of SaaS is our Serialssolutions subscription.

Another interesting report focuses on trends in higher education. Items rising on the list include digital preservation of research data, use of open source software, and mobile learning while Cloud email is just emerging from the ‘Trough of Disillusionment.’

There are reports on all sorts of information issues and topical areas so head on over to the full report & enjoy. To get into the above links, first visit the Gartner login page. After that each of the above links will take you directly to your resource.

Multi-media lab back in business

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 4:11 am

On Monday Barry re-assembled the equipment in the Multi-media lab following a several week-long refurbishment of the space.

The lab has been re-configured just a bit to make better use of the space but everything else is pretty much as it was. Shortly though we will be installing a brand-new digitization machine procured as with Grant funds from our recent LSTA Outreach grant.

Come on down and check out the new carpet, new ceiling and re-painted (I promise) walls!

Asolare Art Foundation- Michael Alexander

Tuesday, August 4, 2009 4:17 pm

cricket ink painting

ink painting

Michael Alexander’s ink paintings are now on display at the entrance of the ZSR Library. These loose sumi-e style paintings are beautifully rendered. There is also a description of Alexander’s painting style and tools. Please visit these delightful paintings.

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