Some of you may recall that In the Spring of 2010 the Library had a contest to select two murals for the East Entrance. This Fall we took a different approach and teamed up with professor Alix Hitchcock to have some of her students do murals in the East Entrance to ZSR as part of their final project in her class. Two of the groups are currently painting murals and one will be creating a mural design in Adobe Illustrator that will be printed on vinyl and attached to the wall with a removable adhesive. Here are some thumbnails to show you their progress! I’ll post another article and some better photos when the murals are complete!
During November 2010...
On Tuesday, November 23, Scott Adair, Travis Manning, Ellen Makaravage and Mary Beth Lock attended onsite training to be certified in using the forklift in our Off Site Storage facility. The morning included classroom instruction where we learned about safety procedures and maintenance schedules, then was followed by a hands-on training on the forklift itself. The training was provided by Matthew Cox of Carolina Handling.
After we covered the basics of inspecting the forklift before use, navigating it close to the shelving, raising, lowering, using the horn and other basic info, we then had to try to move it from one row to the next. This was a little more challenging.
All four of us are now certified and will be hanging our certifications proudly in our offices. Certificates, suitable for framing have been promised by our trainer.
Got fines and a desire to help the hungry in our community?
The Z. Smith Reynolds Library will accept non-expired, unopened canned goods as payment for overdue fines. For each can of food donated, $1 will be waived from your library fines. (No maximum.) Only canned goods will be accepted. The program will run from November 29-December 8.
Food will be donated to Campus Kitchen to provide groceries to those in need in our community this holiday season. Take advantage of this program to both help provide food for the hungry in the community and get your overdue fines forgiven!
The Food for Fines waiver is for library fines only and may not be applied to replacement fees for lost items, nor may it be used as credit against future fines.
Tuesday evening I went to the START Gallery in Reynolda Village. The gallery was hosting an opening reception for the “I See” exhibit, which runs through November 27th. If you’re not familiar with START, it provides an avenue for WFU students to display their art in a professional setting close to campus. The “I See” exhibit showcases student-produced video art from Professor John Pickel’s class. I jumped at the chance to learn more about innovative video projects happening on campus.
If you have time before the 27th, I recommend going to check it out. When you walk through the gallery’s doors, you feel immersed, but not overwhelmed. The pieces are personal. And it is immediately evident that the way in which the video art is displayed is as important as the actual video itself.
Experience “I See” for yourself:
Special thanks to Marcus Keely, START Gallery Fellow, and sophomore Lauren Martinez, video artist, for talking with me.
Over the last few months the University has been testing WebEx, a real-time collaboration tool that includes video, audio, desktop, and application sharing. I have used WebEx a few times in my Information literacy course this semester already and found generally positive student reception to it. They indicated that while WebEx had a bit of a learning/comfort curve that the benefit of online real-time instruction in time savings and in efficiency (e.g. attending class from your dorm room) were valuable outcomes.
Students indicated in class feedback that more WebEx sessions would be welcome so I decided to seek out a guest speaker who could join our class via WebEx. Dr. Jeffery Loo, a Chemistry librarian at the University of California, Berkeley was kind enough to offer his time and is joining our class twice this semester to discuss Open Access and online identity issues. Jeffery uses a number of online and digital techniques in his instruction including an instructional video series on using PubChem, how-to guides and Hands-on worksheets for instruction.
For our first session we decided to gather the class in our regular classroom and used a low-tech approach to enable two-way communication. A computer with its video feed enabled faced the class so that Jeff could get some video and audio feedback of the classroom while we watched his presentation through the projection system.
We found that the microphone on the laptop was not quite good enough to pick up questions from the back of the room but was good enough to pick up questions from the participants up front. Although it would have been possible to have students join the WebEx session from their own laptops we thought that having them engage with the remote speaker in a traditional learning environment would give us the opportunity to fit Jeff in as part of a regular class and would encourage some discussion.
Jeff’s presentation is available on slideshare (see below) and he will be joining the class again in a few weeks to discuss online identity. I expect that we might tune our approach some based on our experience today but for the most part our approach worked. All instructional materials from today are available at: http://jeffloo.com/berkeley/2010/11/18/research-sharing/
ZSR Special Collections Makes Over 200 Audio Recordings of Ammons Reading His Poetry Available Online
Over 200 audio files of A.R. Ammons reading his poetry are now available in ZSR;s newest digital collection, the A. R. Ammons Audio Collection (http://wakespace.lib.wfu.edu/jspui/handle/10339/30030). The first and longest set of readings were performed in 1975 and professionally recorded under the auspices of Thomas F. Gossett, former professor of English at Wake Forest University, and his wife, Louise Y. Gossett, who throughout their lives offered friendship and support to numerous artists and writers, including Ammons. Recorded at the same time as the poetry reading was a long conversation between the poet and the Gossetts. The 1975 recordings take up 8 CDs, now in ZSR Special Collections.
Special Collections and Archives also holds a second recording of Ammons reading at Salem College in 1986. The technical quality of this informally recorded reading lags far behind that of the 1975 reading. However, the playful repartee and geniality of Ammons as he converses with the audience between poems reveals Ammons gifts for connection and friendship. Both sets of recordings feature poems written in and about North Carolina. In the rough 1975 reading Ammons chooses poem, landscapes and images that would be particularly meaningful to his Winston Salem audience.
Here he also introduces and reads a lovely poem called “From the Newcomers,” which he dedicates to Emily Wilson.
Did you know that ZSR Library has had a Flickr account for almost 4 years now? We have uploaded over 3,600 images, organized them into 160 sets and 21 collections! We have hundreds of tags to help find specific images (see the top 150 tags below) and our images have been viewed over 107,850 times.
Because the collection is getting so substantial, a little further cleanup and organization was in order. You will see that there are now 6 main categories: ZSR Year by Year, ZSR Events, ZSR Collections and Exhibits,ZSR Faculty and Staff, ZSR Library Facilities and a new Favorites. As Kevin and others work with projects such as the Annual Report, they need to be able to easily find images that canbe used in marketing and publications. So the new “Favorites” category has subcategories for events, people and the building.
To help our Flickr collection be as useful and usable as possible, remember these few things:
- Only publicly post pictures that document events that pertain to the library and the library’s participation in larger university events, and that document faculty/staff activities that are related to our roles (ie someone giving a presentation at a conference). Otherwise, make the images private (or family only).
- Be selective, think of this as an exhibit, not an exhaustive repository of every picture you take.
- As you post images, remember to put them into a set/collection.
- Make sure your camera has the right date and take a large enough resolution image to be a print quality.
- Tag them appropriately and include “zsr library” “z. smith reynolds library” and “wake forest university” on any images that have subject matter that takes place here.
- If you take a FABULOUS image that you know would be great for future use, add it into one of the “favorites” collections!
- Have fun helping us document all the great things we do to help our students, faculty, and staff succeed!
A few days ago Omeka, an open source digital content publishing system, introduced a cloud-based hosting solution for users. The solution features a tiered service level (from Free to $999 per year) and provides users with a point and click solution for launching digital collections.
This model has been used by other organizations such as wordpress.com to provide users with options for using open source software in a Software-as-a-service (SAAS) environment. The introduction of the service by Omeka is not even the first in the library world but is notable in that it provides free and low cost options for individuals seeking digital publishing services.
The work being done by Omeka addresses a key challenge to implementing open source software in cloud environments. Often, open source platforms require administration skills that are not typically held by people who need the services. As a result, projects are often faced with choosing proprietary or vendor provided systems to support their needs.
The Omeka model is one of a number of options. For example, the tech team recently published a publicly-available server image running Vufind on Amazon EC2. The image is accompanied by documentation and a quick tutorial for launching the server and running vufind. While more technically complex than the Omeka solution, this approach enables libraries to try Vufind in a near-production environment with minimal technical knowledge or configuration overhead.
There are also projects such as Archivists Toolkit that are positioned to leverage community-supported cloud platforms. AT uses a java client connecting to a remote MySQL database. This means that the only network or server-level IT resources required is a MySQL database connection. While perhaps prohibitively complex for many smaller organizations, this sort of service is being offered by a number of cloud providers including Amazon via RDS (Relational Database Service). With minimal overhead, an organization could launch and administer a dedicated MySQL instance with automatic replication, backups and a service level agreement.
At the Vufind 2.0 Conference, Joe Lucia commented on the challenge facing open source software communities as cloud computing becomes an important part of institutional computing. This can be a significant issue as open source software often comes with the caveat of ‘free as a free kitten.’ By finding ways to use cloud computing to make implementing and managing open source software easier, organizations like Omeka are helping bridge this gap. Kudos need to go to Omeka for finding a way to turn this challenge into an opportunity to help the library community build on the work done in the open source community!
A discussion of environmental racism will be held on November 11th and moderated by Provost Jill Tiefenthaler. Two prominent speakers join the Wake Forest campus community to discuss environmental injustice and its effects on community well-being in the United States and abroad. Dr. Julianne Malveuax, president of Bennett College for Women, and Simran Sethi, associate professor of journalism at the University of Kansas, will join Wake Forest Provost Jill Tiefenthaler for a discussion on this important topic.
Date: Thursday, November 11, 2010
Time: 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Location: Annenberg Forum, Carswell Hall