Professional Development

During August 2009...

Submit your publications and presentations to WakeSpace

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 5:01 am

On Monday, Erik led a short class on the process for submitting to WakeSpace for library staff. The class focused on the elements to gather prior to submission and the hands-on task of actually submitting the work.

As part of the class a wiki page on submitting items to WakeSpace was developed that covers the details of how to obtain copyright permissions, how to decide what to upload, and the process for creating an account and uploading your documents. If you have suggestions for improvements to the page feel free to go edit!

If you have questions about how to submit or what qualifies, feel free to get in touch with Erik or Barry and one of us will help you through the process. We will be offering another session in early September as well.

Zotero day 2

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 2:49 pm

Day 2 at the Zotero workshop

We began the second day talking about how to get the word out about Zotero to different areas of our universities. We started talking about the Zotero community & how we can use it for support, both as users and as developers. We talked about how to use the forums on their website for troubleshooting, and sharing ideas.

The next topic we covered included the documentation that not only Zotero has on its’ website but also how other universities have done their own documentation. Examples were shown of different types of documentation such as something really basic such as the University of California at Berkeley up to the 14 page user guide at University of Michigan. I was very happy to see that the ZSR technology wiki on Zotero was listed as one of the best of the 1 page documentation. People at the workshop really liked the fact that the icons on the examples were circled so they can be easily seen. George Mason’s library page was also discussed because it used LibGuides for their example. After lunch we talked about how each library can do their own documentation to tailor it to the users. All the videos on the Zotero site can be used for documentation, which would work well with our Toolkit feature.

Another topic we discussed in the afternoon was how to convince the decision makers to use Zotero as a replacement for other bibliographic programs. There were two lists that were looked at: The first is from the Zotero people: the 10 reasons your institution should adopt Zotero

Educause also has 7 things you should know about Zotero that can be found here . Both of these can be used in presentations to IT people & others to teach them of the benefits of adding Zotero to the campus computers.

Next discussion was about how to spread the word about Zotero. Some of the issues covered were how to partner with other departments on campus (writing center, the teaching & learning center for example) and how faculty can integrate Zotero in their teaching.

The rest of the afternoon was left for discussions about how to customize Zotero to individual campuses through CSL styles among others. We were shown how to go in to change the code so that MLA & APA among others can be changed for each campus. We also talked about the underlying technology, translators & metadata standards (things that Eric & Kevin would understand).

It ended with a discussion on where Zotero is going both with the new upgrade, but also with future upgrades. One change will be with their webpage. It will be changed to look more like igoogle where information can be customized. RSS feeds for groups, new plugins, ability for more social networking, and many others were talked about. They will start work in the fall on a project with the Internet Archive on collecting data on Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

On the whole I thought the workshop was a great learning experience & once the new upgrade is released, then I hope to do a presentation on the new features for the library.

Zotero Workshop day 1

Monday, August 3, 2009 3:19 pm

I went down to Emory University this Thursday & Friday to participate in a workshop on the open source software program Zotero. Zotero is a citation management program developed at the Center for History & New Media at George Mason University. A graduate student in reference first introduced us to it and I started using it for a way to manage the Liam Miller personal library. The ease of use & the ability to organize the material make me a fan. The workshop was geared to the teaching not only how it works but also how to explain it to others such as faculty and administrators on why it is such a good & inexpensive answer to EndNote. There were about 20 of us at the workshop, mostly librarians, but had one person from the CDC & and another from the command & general staff school in Virginia. We all had different experiences on how we were using it and how we wanted to use it in the future. According to Trevor from the CHNM the full release of 2.0 should be ready in a couple of weeks.

The first part of Thursday morning was spent in 4 groups each with a different aspect of Zotero.

1.Getting stuff into Zotero- talked about the icons, PDFs, snapshots, etc.

2.Organizing/Annotating your library- group I was in, talked about the notes feature, the collections & subcollections, tags, (using these as maybe cross references for subcollections), the search feature, talked about the use of advanced searches & search history as a way to create new collections.

3.Creating bibliographies- ways to drag & drop small bibliographies if it is just one or two items, creating reports, use of the Word Zotero toolbar, how to export information from Zotero to Word via the clipboard.

4.Sharing/Collaborating- talked about the new features coming up in the 2.0 release, groups which can be either public or private, groups show up as a collection, only things in that folder will be posted to the group folder, syncing which will allow users to use their library from any computer by logging in to the Zotero website.

The next part of the morning was spent talking about the different types of users that might use Zotero. Different types included the high school student who needs just one or two sources for a short paper, a chemistry student who might use it for a 30 page paper, a faculty member writing a book, and a chairman of a department tracking faculty productivity, and a faculty member who wants to use it as part of his syllabus. Questions about what benefit can Zotero provide, which of Zotero features matter, & how we can reach the particular type of user were asked and discussed. Other questions involved what were the users goals, what type of software skill do they have, and what are they currently using was also discussed.

After lunch we discussed how Zotero is being used by the different people at the workshop. The most relevant discussions were about how librarians can use it to communicate with students & faculty. Both by letting users know about it and then using it in classes & bib sessions. One idea I thought of was with the liaisons and their faculty members. Liaisons can set up faculty groups, invite your faculty members and then have a way that the faculty can communicate with you about books, or journals that they are using in their research. If there is a journal we don’t have but a faculty member is finding useful articles in it, then maybe it would be something to look into subscribing. It also maybe easier to keep track of books that are they might be interested in if they see it mentioned on a website then maybe they may save it to their Zotero group and you would have access it to. I don’t know if this would be a quicker way to communicate between faculty but it might be nice to have all the information about faculty members interests in one place.

Other uses mentioned included syllabus integration, faculty productivity, projects across different campuses as well as on campus, teaching it in English composition classes, use in writing centers, teaching & learning centers, and many other uses.

Many other ideas were floated & more information on what the 2.0 upgrade will include were talked about.

Handheld Librarian Online Conference – Tom Peters

Monday, August 3, 2009 5:51 am

I attended the Handheld Librarian Online Conference on Thursday, July 30th and heard a presentation by Tom Peters. Peters is CEO of Tap Information Services and has 20 years experience in academic libraries. His presentation was entitled: “Mobility and Singularity: People, Communication, Information, Information Objects, and Information Services in Motion.” Peters began by stating that the use of mobile phone technology is a huge, rapid and global technology with an adoption rate that rivals toilets and toasters. According to Peters, 60 countries had a 100% adoption rate of mobile phones (not the U.S.) Peters had three areas to address in his talk: Mobility, Singularity and Our Sense of Place.

Peters addressed the numerous ways handheld devices can be used: gaming, phone, information (dedicated reading devices), communication and entertainment (portable music/media player). For libraries, these devices are being used for any type of content that can be delivered with this device: access to library collections via the catalog, library web site, reference services, tours, and to “push” out information such as coming library events or services. Peters stated (and I’m not sure I agree) that in the future, we will travel less, not because fuel is expensive, but because we don’t need to. Peters believes that mobile phone technology is an entirely different way of creating, interacting with and using information. Shoutbomb is software that enables “dumb” cellphones to send and receive information from online catalogs. This technology could function in a number of settings.

Peters argues that “we will revive a forgotten sense of rootedness and sense of place.” He thinks our fingers will do all our walking for us using handheld devices-and this will be the reason for a decline in mobility (again, I question this idea.) Peters’ idea is that because of handheld devices we will return to a “pre-industrial sense of place” and we will be able to focus more on our relationshsips. More engagement in local surroundings and a fundamental shift in the way we view our relationships with others is a lot to place in the lap of handheld devices. According to Tom Peters, however, these devices will fundamentally alter our sense of place.

Craig Fansler

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