Professional Development

In the 'Wikis' Category...

Lauren @ Once upon a Furl in a Podcast Long Ago: Using New Technologies to Support Library Instruction

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 9:56 pm

I was able to attend a program on Monday! I went to “Once upon a Furl in a Podcast Long Ago: Using New Technologies to Support Library Instruction.” Not only was this program all about some of my favorite topics (technology in education), but it was sponsored by the Women’s Studies Section (my home within ACRL).

The program started with awards. This year’s WSS award for significant achievement in Women’s Studies Librarianship went to Jennifer Gilley, Kayo Denda, Jenna Freedman, and Sharon Ladenson for their 2006 NWSA Conference presentation. This was a presentation at an academic conference for Women and Gender Studies scholars focusing on library research. The WSS award for career achievement in Women’s Studies Librarianship went to Sandy River, long time, active member. In her speech she talked about how WSS gave her a home in ALA and how she has received at least as much from WSS as she has given. Her speech really resonated with me because the WSS committee was the one that really brought me into the fold right away. It’s a great group of people, and they’re doing really great things at their institutions and in ACRL.

After the awards section, the program began. This was an overwhelmingly popular program! The crowd overflowed and the hotel staff had to take down one of the walls to make more room. I took a lot of notes, so I’ll try to keep it to the point (with links for more information) here:

From Joan K. Lippincott:

  • We’re at a critical point where we need to fundamentally rethink our services & information literacy
  • Emphasize information and content, technology as vehicle
  • What about non-traditional students who aren’t connected? They will need to be to function in today’s business world, so we should work to teach them to use these technologies.
    Convergence of literacies: Written Literacy, Information Literacy, Technology Literacy, Visual Literacy
  • Pointed towards MacArthur Foundation Project (Digital Media and Learning)
    Areas to consider (New T&L Partnerships): Center for Teaching and Learning, New Media Center, Instructional Technology Group, FIlm or Multimedia Studies Department (on our own campuses)
  • Columbia’s Shakespeare & the Book: Study Environment
  • Georgetown U, CNDLS
  • LINK Dartmouth RWIT: Center for research, writing, and IT (one stop shopping)
  • New Resources like PennTags, TeamSpot (at Stanford), Student Multi-media Design Center (U. Delaware), Practice Presentation Room (Georgia Tech)
  • We’re changing focus: from teaching about access to library resources to teaching about access to information and tools (Amen!)
  • Data for visualization is going to become more important in all fields
  • Webcasts, podcasts, blogs, images, etc. are rich resources for students, do we connect them to this type of resource, or limit our reference to library-purchased information?
  • Research Channel videos (high level academic content)
  • D-Lib article on Wikipedia to extend access to digital collections
  • Georgetown portal for community based research (about Washington DC)
  • George Mason History Tools
  • Showing information
  • Digital collections as screensavers on library computers
  • NCSU Learning Commons eBoards images
  • Changing focus: from teaching policies as rules, to focusing on policy awareness and discussion
  • Media Education Foundation’s fair(y) use tale
  • UPenn Library mashup Contest in conjunction with LL’s Free Culture
  • Creative Commons Licensing (are we teaching our students? grad students?)
  • Cornell’s Thoughts on Facebook (are we sharing our thoughts on these issues with our students?)
  • Methods: online tutorials, online games, contest, social networking sites, students collect resource before class & jointly critique, simulation, instruction in virtual worlds
    supporting materials: social sites like blogs developed by students, wikis, etc
  • Challenges for faculty: interest in inserting skills in faculty curriculum, willingness to collaborate, acceptance of new forms of projects, developing of grading for new forms of expressions
  • Challenges for librarians: broaden conception of information literacy, convergence, overall service program, not just classes, engagement in collaborative learning with students, development of new skills, promoting services to faculty
  • We must transform information literacy!
  • We will have to let go of some things (We can’t keep doing all we’ve done & add new, have to decide what to stop doing)
  • Assist in student transition from recreational use of technology to academic use
  • Provide with environment with engage students (both physically and virtually)
  • Promote creativity

From Dr. Kathleen Burnett:

  • 10 years from now the field of librarianship will mostly be digital natives
  • “Our students have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach .” Mark Prensky
  • Digital Natives assume connectivity & see the world through he lens of games and play.
  • “Over the past 20 years, young adults have declined from being the most likely to read literature to those least likely. The rate of decline for the youngest adults, aged 18 to 24 was 55% greater than the total adult population. ” Kelly Hill
  • “Even if the lecturer is charismatic, holding the attention of students for an entire lecture of fifty minutes or longer is impossible.” Joel Foreman
  • “It is clear from talking with them that they already know they don’t want to live and work the way we do. ” Brian O’Reilly (However LIS enrollment is increasing and age of first enrollment is lower than it has ever been.)
  • Cited D. Oblinger’s research of learning preferences
  • Ideal learning situation: customizable, immediate feedback, constructive to explore learning environments, motivates students to persist in excess of any externally imposed requirements, builds enduring conceptual structures. (Joel Forman)
  • Strategies: interaction & feedback, engage, accelerate, experiential learning, increase options, peer-to-peer, more “pull” web based options, more interactive multimedia.
  • Suggestions for implementation:
  • Podcasts & vodcasts: bring other voices and faces into discussion, or students can create presentations
  • Blogs & social networks: support class and discussion, or extend bounds of classroom (invite other participants), or to encourage individual responsibility for information
  • Wikis: support collaborative development of info resources and dissemination of information, or to teach consensus building and teamwork
  • Games and simulations: explore relationship between physical and virtual, or to teach the concepts of programming or to engage kinetic and spatial learners
  • Pew Internet & American Life Project: Web 2.0 Users
  • Men and women balanced in Omnivore, Females tend to be Connectors
  • This indicates we’re equalizing in terms of computer use skills in some ways

From Kathryn Shaughnessy:

This presentation was based on a specific distance program at St. John’s University. I’m only noting things that would be useful to us, too:

  • Used technology to improve library instruct: creation, distribution, and impact
  • Used open source alternatives that could be continue to be used after graduation
  • Again, brought up the synthesis of literacies
  • Technologies of choice: Captivate for tutorials, Audacity for podcasts, WordPress for blogging, PBwiki or Wikipm for wikis, also RSS, RefWorks, Skype, tagging, and courseware.
  • Said that if you only had time to learn one technology in the coming year, she would say “RSS, all the way.” This resonates with my “RSS will change your life!”
  • Updated Information Literacy (Modular) Tutorial in Captivate (with images, text, and demonstration)
  • Academic Podcasting Initiative
  • Uses RefWorks to generate RSS for courses. I wonder if there would be a way to do this for our podcasting pilot using EndNote Web?
  • for course bookmarks
  • Skype was the second most important technology according to Shaughnessy, certainly could be useful for distance education with our abroad houses (particularly with camera)
  • St. John’s uses podlinez to do an audio tour of library that you can dial into on your cell phone

From Heather Tompkins:

  • WGS as interdisciplinary: cutting edge, CV not yet developed, falls outside traditional resources, breaks down expert/novice barriers, emphasizes connections and process, considers materials informally published
  • She explained social bookmarking as a way to share bookmarks across the library professionally. Do you use or furl? Let me know, i’ll add you to my network! (My account username is laurenpressley)
  • Pulls social bookmarks to library page
  • Used Flickr to annotate floor maps of the library for her specific disciplines
  • Pointed to Google customized search engine
  • Pointed to meebo widget and Google Calendar
  • There is a potential information literacy tie in: looking at friends’ friends is like citation research, a blogroll is like bibliography, tagging is like controlled vocab, etc.

So, to be honest, I assumed I would know everything that this session would about, and I attended mostly just to be supportive. However, it was a really really good session! The speakers articulated ideas well and shared several new ones!

Library 2.0 at UNCG (Lauren’s report)

Monday, June 18, 2007 9:52 am

For those who have been following the evolution of Library 2.0, a lot of this will be familiar… so I am just going to include links to most of what was covered:

  • Tim Bucknall highlighted the OCLC findings
  • Patrons want self-sufficiency, satisfaction, and seamlessness
  • Danny Nanez highlighted Michael Habib’s Academic Library 2.0
  • academic library 2.0
  • Discussed Blackboard, pathfinders, chat reference
  • MyWelch: a blackboard interface for library services
  • Students as creators of content
  • Ann Arbor Library is innovative
  • Ann Arbor Catalog
  • University of Minnesota Website wiki is EXACTLY what we’re trying to do
  • Gaming in Libraries (Amy Harris & Scott Rice)
  • The idea is to make the library fun
  • Overview of millennials (PDF)
  • Discussed their game night, citing Giz & WFU; they include cards & board games
  • Photos on Flickr
  • Info Island on Second Life
  • Another option, Active World, can link to web content, create floor plan of the library & link to real library resources
  • UNCG Info Lit game, teaches info lit uses AJAX, is ADA compliant, and is free under CC License
  • Tim Bucknall discussed the future of the ILS/OPAC, cited Roy Tennant presentation from SOLINET
  • Federated search beyond just our catalog (journals, websites, etc)
  • “Will ILS return to original function as inventory–rather than a search–tool?”
  • Google Books (which I love, as you may know)
  • Adding MARC records isn’t scalable when we have full text from all these major research libraries (via Google Books)
  • People don’t want MARC records, they want to search full text
  • Will probably turn to local data & inventory, where catalog is just a piece of search
  • Says, “Why don’t we have a Digital Guilford where people can search local documents.” Sound familiar?
  • Terry Brandsma discussed AquaBrowser as an enhancement to the catalog
  • Examples of AquaBrowser: Queens Library & Arkansas State Library-Beebe
  • AquaBrowser doesn’t require MARC records, could include journal articles, websites, etc
  • Discussed Endeca as a more efficient catalog; developed for retail/business
  • Examples of Endeca: NCSU & McMaster University
  • Discussed WorldCat as way to search beyond just local holdings & searches across books and articles
  • University of Washington is using WorldCat as their catalog
  • Discussed SirsiDynix Enterprise Portal Solutions (EPS) as a way of forced clustering before searching
  • Examples of EPS: Arcadia, Boston Public Library, & Cerritos College
  • Discussed faceted and visual browsing including SirsiDynix & KartOO Visu
  • Tim Bucknall and Lynda Kellam discussed Breaking Down Barriers
  • Tim pointed out that libraries have traditionally tried to set itself apart from the internet & say “that’s bad, we’re good.” Now we’re realizing that users will be in that other space, & we need to put our content there.
  • We can do this using: OpenURL, COinS (we have it, thanks to Kevin!), Bookmarklets, & Blackboard
  • Pushing specific content to subject area classes in Blackboard
  • Lynda demoed this content push to Blackboard; there is a “My Library Resources” option in the course
  • Don’t have to reauthenticate once they’re in Blackboard
  • Can also be pushed to open course websites (not necessarily Blackboard)
  • Banner extract of classes is added to a library database, liaisons then can interact with databases & add appropriate resources to their courses
  • Tim followed up on the Blackboard push project, they wanted to get down to just one click, so it required a different technology
  • Want to use this technology in other ways: news, new resources, reminders, contact links, course guides, mobile, etc. Much more targeted!!
  • Richard Cox worked on the technology behind this
  • Tim answered questions: WebFeat was discussed… a little clunky/slower, limited searching, but is a big step forward from current EZ Search

Leslie at MLA 2007

Friday, March 9, 2007 5:37 pm

I’m back from Pittsburgh, where the Music Library Association held its annual conference this year. The program was so breathlessly jam-packed that I’m just going to have to, unbloglike, post one long report at the end. Sorry!

Dominating the sessions this year were the many creative ways music librarians are exploiting new technologies to enhance their mission:


My colleagues at NC School of the Arts described their use of ipods for music reserves. They do this in two ways: issuing library-owned ipods with the course listening assignments pre-loaded (other schools, like Baylor, also do this); or, upon request, downloading the content to students’ own ipods. They cover their legal liability on the latter service by requiring the student to sign an agreement not to steal the content; violation results in a fine based on the going Itunes rate per track (often totalling hundreds of dollars) and being blocked from class registration for the upcoming semester. They report that this deterrent has proven quite effective. The biggest problem, rather, has been failure to return library-owned ipods.


A number of music libraries are using enhanced podcasts for outreach. Enhanced podcasts combine audio and video to, e.g., feature a performer, a faculty research project, etc.


Quite a few libraries have mounted their staff and student manuals on wikis, citing the ease of updating and editing, and the added benefits of facilitating feedback and collaborative work. Many are also employing wikis in the same way Lauren has in Gov Docs, for optimizing communications in the running of public service desks.


As in the larger library community, music librarians’ frustration with existing integrated library systems (ILS) is widespread. There were presentations on ways libraries are using third-party software to enhance the useability of their ILS: NC State’s use of Endeca with their Sirsi system was mentioned, as well as Lib X, a Firefox browser extension designed for libraries, which features a toolbar containing links to the library’s catalog (a number of other libraries have developed similar toolbars of their own, offered to students for download). Other libraries have gone further, developing alternative open-source ILSs. These include the Univ. of Rochester’s Extensible Catalog; Georgia’s public library systems’s Evergreen; Plymouth State’s WP Opac, which uses blogging software. All these systems have faceted browsing, and various blendings of Google-like features with traditional catalog functions.


An attempt at providing another kind of seamless access was demonstrated in an update session by Naxos Music Library, an online streaming service. Naxos has plans to partner with Proquest’s International Index to Music Periodicals (IIMP), Sheet Music Now (a public-domain digital score provider), and Webfeat, the federated search engine recently demo’d here, to create a product that will enable a user studying a given musical work to listen to a performance, download and print the score, and locate secondary literature, all in a single online search session.

With the advent of Naxos and other online music-streaming products, the imminent demise of the CD has inevitably been prophesied. A lively dabate arose on this topic in a session titled “Hot Topics in Music Librarinaship.” Many attendees reported that, subscriptions to streaming products notwithstanding, they’re still buying CDs, citing the lack of coverage of certain repertoire online (I’ve encountered this problem with our own music faculty: for teaching Medieval and Renaissance-era repertoire they find the online products largely useless, because these are typically licensed to distribute only older recordings, which in the case of early European classical music reflect obsolete/discredited research on performance practices); ease of use (faculty are fond of grabbing a physical CD five minutes before class); connectivity problems; varying levels of psychological readiness of faculty to adopt new technology; and questions of ownership/archiving (there’s no JSTOR for sound recordings).


In the same “Hot Topics” session, several attendees reported on how they’re exploiting the virtual environment for music bibliographic instruction. Facebook and Myspace were deemed particularly valuable as a space for student group work and peer mentoring. Others have found uses for Youtube: one colleague found that when she integrated Youtube clips into an ethnic music studies course, students more readily absorbed information on the more traditional research sources.


On a more esoteric note, Mark Katz of UNC-Chapel Hill gave an intriguing presentation on “The Second Digital Revolution in Music.” The first revolution, of course, was the coming of the Internet. Now we have new artforms such as “turntablism,” a practice developed by DJs of manually manipulating vinyl discs on turntables to produce special effects; and “mashups,” the overlaying of the vocals of one popular song on the accompaniment of another. This, Mark notes, raises questions of authenticity: whereas traditionally a live performance was considered “authentic,” and the recording of it a reproduction, now activities such as turntablism and mashups render the recording itself the “authentic” entity. Does this make turntablists and mashup artists composers?

A second revolutionary trend identified by Mark is the virtual music community. This is found, of course, in places like Myspace (where many performers have pages), Youtube (which brings together people with shared musical tastes), and concerts in Second Life. Are virtual communities “real” communities? Do people hear music differently as an avatar in Second Life? Music scholars, in Mark’s opinion, have lagged behind those in other disciplines in exploring questions such as these; the field of “music and technology” has yet to mature.


I attended a session on RDA (“Resource Description and Access,” the new cataloging rules currently under development) and its implications for music (and other formats such as video). One thorny problem: access points for performers. When do you make the primary access point for the work and when for the performer? RDA has adopted the basic principles of FRBR, which say the primary access point should be the work. But this proves to be at odds with customary practice in various creative communities: the film community considers a film a new work in its own right (not a derivative of the novel, etc.); and what to do about musical performers who are also the composer, arranger,etc. of the work they’re performing?


This year’s conference was a joint one held with the Society for American Music (SAM). In a SAM session, one of our own Music faculty, Louis Goldstein, who specializes in contemporary American repertoire, gave a lecture-recital of a piano work by little-known Denver-born composer Stephen “Lucky” Mosko (1947-2005). Mosko’s reputation is so obscure that most of us in attendance had never even heard of him, but the piece Louis played for us was exquisitely beautiful, so I’m going to look up more of his music to add to our collection.

A tradition of the SAM folks is to hold a shape-note hymn sing at their conferences, and this was a most moving experience also. MLA members fielded a brass band and jazz band, which provided the entertainment at the closing reception. Some years we have a chorus, too. This is one of the coolest things about being a music librarian: getting together with colleagues who are both scholars and performers!


I spent a productive afternoon in the exhibits hall. In particular, I got a chance to talk to some vendors who offer approval plans for scores and recordings, which I’ve been eyeing as a possible solution to some faculty requests regarding gaps in our collections. Also got updates from vendors of music online resources that are still (sigh!) on our desiderata list.

As I said, a jam-packed and most informative program this year. My biggest disappointment was that some sesssions had so many speakers lined up that each one had only five or ten minutes to describe their “how we done it good” projects.

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