2008 STS Conference Poster Session


ACRL Science and Technology Section

One Part Inspiration: Creative Trends that Further Science Learning

Monday, June 30, 2008

Reception and Poster Session: 11:00 - 12:30

The program will be followed by the STS Poster Session and Reception from 11:00 am to noon in Anaheim Convention Center Room 210 C/D. Poster presentations will address the creative use of technology in science librarianship. We will also feature a "Technology Petting Zoo" where we've assembled some hot new technologies for you to play with and think about integrating into your libraries.  Among the participants are the often talked about but rarely seen Amazon Kindle(R), the Sony PRS-500(R) e-book reader, a cute interactive whiteboard attachment from mimio(R), and a whiteboard desk from Gaylord Brothers(R).  Light refreshments will be served.


  •   “The Chemistry between Library Services and Web 2.0: Providing “Traditional” Library Services via New Technologies to USC Chemistry Users,” by Sara Tompson and Norah Xiao, Science & Engineering Library, University of Southern California ( download the poster in PDF 1.2 Mb)
    • As academic libraries continue providing seamless access to information in electronic format, fewer users step into the physical library for their research and study. More and more tend to study online and use our e-services and e-resources. As subject liaison librarians, we need to explore all kinds of possibilities to connect, communicate and serve users in the digital age.
      This poster session will provide an academic scitech library case study in applying new technologies to library services for the chemical sciences disciplines ( http://www.usc.edu/libraries/subjects/chemistry/). The selected Web 2.0 applications we have implemented and will showcase include a blog ( http://chemusc.wordpress.com/), tags, RSS feeds and Instant Messaging.  We implemented these various new technology approaches based upon analyses of the information needs as well as the information-seeking behaviors of chemistry students and faculty.  Rationale for the technology choices will be presented, as will statistical results of how the users have adopted these innovative library services.  We will also suggest future explorations into how these services can be further improved to better accommodate users’ information needs.

  • “Del.icio.us: A simple extension to science subject research guides,” by Andrea Wirth and Hannah Rempel, Oregon State University Libraries. ( download the poster in PDF 1.4 Mb)
    • Del.icio.us, a well-known social bookmarking tool, is being used by several librarians at Oregon State University (OSU) Libraries to enhance access to web resources suggested on their subject research guides (SRGs). The Geosciences and Environmental Sciences Librarian and the Biosciences Librarian have done away with long lists of difficult to organize links and have opted to manage their recommended web resources with del.icio.us instead.
      Del.icio.us allows easily accessible bookmarking combined with user-friendly script generation for incorporation into otherwise static web pages.  Other benefits of using del.icio.us include organizing links through tagging and bundling, fast-tracked updating of newly discovered websites, providing a simple method of sharing links between users, and demonstrating how a web 2.0 tool can be used to our targeted audience of researchers.
      Organizing del.icio.us accounts for use on SRGs is easy but can take several forms and incorporate different utilities (tag and link rolls, tag bundling, RSS feed generation, and integration in Facebook, etc.).  Using del.icio.us tagging has also facilitated a more thoughtful approach to the types of web pages we link to from our SRGs.  Creating tags for pages and observing the most and least tagged topic areas has helped to increase our understanding of what types of web resources are available in our fields.  Though we are still experimenting with the best ways to take full advantage of all that del.icio.us has to offer, we feel that incorporating it in this way has improved our subject research guides and provided another method for connecting with researchers in our subject areas.

  • “Google Earth Opens the Door,” by Carrie Miyoshi Macfarlane, Kathryn E. Clagett, and Christopher M. Rodgers, Armstrong Library, Middlebury College. ( download the poster in PDF 1 Mb)
    • How can we get more students to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS)?  That's what we wondered two years ago in the Middlebury College Libraries.  We observed that spatial literacy skills were sought after for research and jobs in fields as diverse as environmental studies, sociology, and education, and we wanted our students to be prepared. 
      To answer our question we created a pilot internship and filled it with recent Middlebury graduates who were skillful, creative and energetic.  Our interns researched GIS support at other schools, flooded our campus with publicity, then provided assistance to students, staff and faculty across the disciplines.  What we've learned is that if Google Earth is used to open the door to spatial thinking then additional applications (both GIS and multimedia) can be waiting inside the room. 
      As interest in spatial aspects of research has grown, so have the capabilities of Google Earth and other virtual globe software.  Specialized applications such as ArcGIS still require expertise, especially as their output is exported to other programs for multimedia presentations.  This is one avenue for GIS support which we are investigating.  In addition, we now know that even something so accessible as Google Earth can spark the interest—and meet the needs—of many of our users.
      This poster will include: Literature review, Intern responsibilities with examples of Google Earth and GIS use, Publicity techniques (print and web-based, email, RSS, etc.), Demonstration of multimedia capabilities of Google Earth, Future plans

  • “An Undergraduate Science Information Literacy Tutorial in a Web. 2.0 World,” by Jeanine Scaramozzino and Cathy Palmer, Science Library, University of California, Irvine. ( download the poster in PDF 0.5 Mb)
    • Familiarity with the scientific literature and the ability to evaluate sources of scientific information are important goals of science education. College science students must learn to identify information needs, search and locate information, and evaluate sources.  Many students arrive at college without experience with primary scientific literature, and introductory courses may leave students confused about scientific literature and information sources. We describe a web-based science information literacy tutorial that introduces undergraduate science majors to basic concepts of scientific literature. The tutorial introduces concepts, vocabulary and resources necessary for understanding and accessing information. In addition, the tutorial highlights ways in which information seeking in the sciences is different from information seeking in the humanities and social sciences. The tutorial content is based on the Association of College and Research Libraries Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education and the Information Literacy Standards for Science and Engineering/Technology. In order to engage students in a Web 2.0 world, the tutorial is evolving to incorporate an interactive, game-like structure. User data will be tracked and user surveys will be used to assess efficacy of the tutorial in introducing students to basic concepts of using scientific literature.

  • “Science Experiments: Reaching Out to Our Users,” by Laura Barrett, Maureen Nolan, Matthew Parsons, Lori Tschirhart, Linda Whang, and Stephanie Wright, University of Washington Libraries.
    • We have long tried as many different types of things as we could to bring users into our science libraries and to get them to use our resources in their space. We've done low-tech things like give-aways of unique bookmarks, “Live Fast, Die Smart” temporary library tattoos, and "free coffee with the librarian" coupons; and we've set up "manned" displays in departmental buildings. We've also done things that lured users into our spaces, both physical and virtual, like setting up provocative displays in our units, creating an "Amazing Race" to all the libraries for freshman "Dawg Daze" orientation, and inviting all the new faculty to lunch with their subject librarians. But the most fun we've had is using newer technologies to connect with out users, including:
      *GPS technology -- Geocaching is a sport that requires using a gps to do a "treasure hunt" and find a cache. We placed a Geocache in the UW Libraries and as part of the hunt require searchers to use library tools to find the cache.
      *Blogs -- we created a blog for patrons in environmental, earth and space, and atmospheric sciences. By using Blogger it’s easy to create, easy to maintain and allows users to  get updates on postings through whatever RSS reader they may use. We are also able to use Google Analytics to track how many visitors we get, how often, new or returning, how many pages per visit, which pages they’re visiting, and how much time they spend on the site.
      *Meebo -- several of us have put a link to Meebo instant messaging on our subject pages (e.g., "Chat with Matt!").
      *One of us created a “virtual reading room” or electronic journal display area. This page has links to the 80+ most commonly used journals at the Friday Harbor Library. The Virtual Reading Room was accepted into ACRL Best Practices Clearinghouse in 2004.
      *RSS - We have placed RSS links to things like our new books lists and blog postings.
      *One of our science librarians was able to get her subject information placed directly on the departmental web page along with her photo and contact information.
      *We now have links to librarian-created course-specific web pages through the student MyUW Class schedule.
      *For the future, we are exploring Facebook and Second Life, among others. And, although we are not sure how the Libraries' presence will be received by students, we're having a lot of fun keeping up with the technology.

  • “Instant Help: Creative Approaches to Chat Reference,” by John J. Meier, Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library, Penn State University. ( download the poster in PDF 2 Mb)
    • Instant Messaging (IM) and online chat have become a primary mode of professional and personal communication among students and scientists. Librarians can now be available using chat on websites instead of using separate software.  Chat windows for users can be placed at their points of need using widgets, small pieces of a web page that can be used on multiple, different websites.  Librarians can share a chat account or use Meebo Rooms (or a similar service) which allows multiple librarians access to the same chat widget.  A diversity of staffing choices for "virtual" reference desks are possible: one librarian, shared among all science librarians, an entire library or even more broadly.
      It is now possible for librarians to immediately communicate with their audiences on the web.  They can use this web software to easily access chat from any computer with an Internet connection.  These advances in IM software and technology have out-raced libraries ability to plan, implement and evaluate these services.  Still, creative library professionals have explored a wide variety of approaches using these new technologies.
      Each of these innovative techniques will be visually presented in the poster from both the user and librarian perspective along with live, online demonstrations.  The primary software tools that will be shown are Meebo and AOL IM.  Data from librarians who use these tools will highlight the strengths and weaknesses in implementations.

  • “Science Info on the Go: Enhancing Traditional Sci-Tech Library Services with Mobile Devices,” by Joe Murphy, Kline Science Library, Yale University. ( download the poster in PDF 0.6 Mb)
    • Mobile devices can be creatively implemented to enhance science libraries' ability to provide quality service to specialized clientele. In 2007, the Yale Science Libraries began providing text messaging and instant messaging reference service via an Apple iPhone to meet the diffuse information needs of Yale's scientific community. It soon became apparent that reference service was just one of the many possibilities. This poster will graphically explore how a mobile device can be employed to complement and enhance existing traditional services, as well as creating opportunities for innovative services including social networking.  The poster is a visual depiction of how the technologies can interact with various services.  Examples of synching mobile and traditional services, management models, and best practices will be addressed.

  • “Web 2.0, Library 2.0, Science Learning 2.0 – The ComPADRE Digital Library,” by Jutta Wunder, Graduate Assistant, School of Library and Information Studies; Bruce Mason, Associate Professor, Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy; and Cecelia Brown, Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Oklahoma. 
    • “A library is more than a pile of books” (Pomerantz and Marchionini 2007). Libraries not only add value to information resources by organizing and making them available to the public, but they also serve as important places to learn, discuss, and collaborate. In digital libraries, Web 2.0 technologies allow users to communicate, collaborate, and participate in the digital environment. ComPADRE, a part of the National Science Digital Library, not only helps science teachers and learners to find and utilize high quality physics and astronomy resources, but also facilitates participation, discussion, professional development, and learning. On this poster we demonstrate ComPADRE’s Web 2.0 features by means of ‘The Nucleus’, a ComPADRE collection for physics and astronomy undergraduates, provided by the American Association of Physics Teachers and the Society of Physics Students. Next to finding resources for research and learning, users of ‘The Nucleus’ can participate in discussions in ‘The Lounge’. They can build personal collections in their ‘Filing Cabinets’ and share them with other users. They are also encouraged to actively participate in the collection development and organization of resources by suggesting materials to include and commenting on library items. Further the students’ professional development is aided by summer research and scholarship databases. An ongoing evaluation of the ComPADRE Digital Library shows that those features are highly appreciated by the users, and that students enjoy science learning in a communicative digital environment.

Call for posters (17kb pdf) (closed)

Last updated: June 16, 2008

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