Blogging at the Reference Desk: Using a Home-Grown Blogging System to Increase Communication Among Reference Team Members
Jenny Emanuel, Electronic Services Librarian, Central Missouri State University
Blogging is fast becoming a fast and simple way to convey news and other information to others via the Internet. Recently, there has been much talk about how libraries can use blogging technology to give information about library news and events to its patrons. At the James C. Kirkpatrick Library at Central Missouri State University, several reference team members expressed a need to notify other staff of problem databases, new reference materials available, and assignment alerts, among others, and in a more formal way than casual conversation. An open source software program called Nucleus was utilized for the blogging service, which allowed customization, plugins, and programming (with php) to link to the chat reference service. The reference team soon realized that the usefulness of sharing information via the blog far outweighed the time it took to read it. Now, reference staff is grateful for a way to communicate that is not intrusive to their off-desk time.
Design and Implementation of a Data-Driven Application Using Cold Fusion
Jue Wang, Electronic Information Coordinator, Western Kentucky University
This session will focus on how we designed and implemented a data driven website for a joint project between Mammoth Cave National Park and Western Kentucky University Libraries. The presenter will explain the benefits of a data driven site and the software and hardware components required to build a dynamic website. She will also address the criteria of selecting different software packages, pros and cons of the software packages that are available on the market and general technical issues. She will explain why this application uses ColdFusion MX as an application server, MySQL as the database server, and Apache as Web server. Attendees at this presentation will discover how they can use a similar approach to design and implement this technology and build a dynamic, powerful, interactive, and personalized website and make web content management a lot easier.
Digital Capture for Usability Testing…and More
Sara Memmott, Web Coordinator, University of Michigan-Dearborn
Janet Yanosko, Systems Librarian, University of Michigan-Dearborn
UM Dearborn library staff employed usability testing in the recent redesign(s) of their library website. We used digital capture to record testers’ voices and what they did on the computer screen. The results were encoded as Real Media files, which we could then review as many times as needed. How did doing this help with the process and what else is it good for? First, doing digital capture is cheap—you don’t have to set up an expensive usability lab with cameras and specialized equipment. Second, it’s easy. We were able to accomplish the testing and the redesign with minimal staff (four individuals—and the test subjects, of course). Third, we felt that testers would be more comfortable if they didn’t feel threatened by camera lenses or unusual, intimidating equipment. We also felt that it would be easier to engage our test subjects if we didn’t have to concentrate on manually recording their every move. It’s difficult to write and listen at the same time. Finally, the technology that we used has applications that go beyond user testing for web design, including investigating research behavior (as opposed to testing the sites themselves), and creating fast, easy-to-pull-together online tutorials, both for staff training and for patrons.
Doing More with Less: A Look at the Nearly Cost-Free Development of the UCLA Department of Information Studies Collections Gateway
David Cappoli, Digital Resources Librarian, University of California-Los Angeles
This session will be an overview of the development of the UCLA Department of Information Studies Collections Gateway. The web-based gateway was developed in 2003 as a way of providing access to the varied collections that are maintained by the department’s Multi-media and Information Technology Lab. The gateway also brings together a compilation of electronic journals and publications relevant to the library and information science profession which are collected by both the lab as well as the UCLA Library. This compilation has enabled faculty to better utilize online readings as part of their syllabi and has increased collection use by students. The gateway was developed using existing staff and resources and was launched with little additional cost beyond the existing lab budget.
Electronic Resources Usage Statistics: How Valuable Are Vendor-Supplied Data?
Wendell Barbour, University Librarian, Longwood University
Virginia Kinman, Electronic Resources Librarian, Longwood University
Until recently, usage statistics for electronic resources have been limited to the very general data that can be captured from an institution’s web server logs or to an inconsistent mix of data offered by some but not all vendors. As more vendors adopt the COUNTER standards for measuring usage of their online journal and database resources, the prospect of reliable, comparable statistics across products becomes more feasible. In the fall of 2003, the Longwood University Library developed an Access database to track vendor-supplied usage statistics, with an emphasis on the four basic COUNTER elements: sessions, searches, full-text and turnaways. This session will provide an introduction to e-metrics and an analysis of the usefulness and limitations of the data collected for the 03-04 and 04-05 academic years.
Portable Operating Systems for the Personal Computer: BartPE and KNOPPIX
Eric Delozier, Electronic Services Librarian, Penn State Harrisburg Library
This poster demonstrates how two operating environments that boot and run from a CD-ROM drive are used as platforms for managing technology and delivering instruction. Built from Windows XP or 2003 installation media, BartPE provides a GUI-based environment that is useful for managing employee and public-access computers. KNOPPIX provides a convenient and portable delivery method for educating librarians and end-users on Linux and open source software. Although based on disparate platforms, both provide a vast array of applications that can support a library’s dual-mission of delivering effective information technology services and literacy programs.
RFID for Libraries: Dispelling Myths & Assessing Applications
Diane Ward, Principal Poetry Cataloger, SUNY Buffalo
I would like to provide a presentation on RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Technology) and its impact on library processes for the 21st century. The presentation will touch on aspects of privacy, data and collection management and a primer on RFID component parts and terminology. Additionally, there will be mention of case studies of RFID systems in use currently by libraries. I would also like to discuss the role of technology on staffing and item check-in/check-out. There is much interest in what RFID can do to streamline library processes. I would like to honestly talk about the pros and cons of implementing an RFID system for security and circulation.
Streaming Media on the Go: A Portable, Affordable, "Mini" Mobile Videobroadcasting Unit for Live Broadcasts and Archiving Events
Sharon Dennis, Librarian, University of Utah
The MidContinental Region (MCR) of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) at the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah, serves health sciences libraries throughout a six-state region (Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri). The member librarians often work in one-person hospital libraries and are unable to travel to take classes or attend professional development events. The MCR wished to offer its members live and archived video streaming events and classes so that member librarians could view the events regardless of location and time constraints. Since the events take place throughout the region , the MCR decided to purchase a portable “mini” mobile streaming media broadcast unit that could be shipped to libraries desiring to broadcast or archive events. The portable unit weighs less than 30 pounds and is affordable (less than $10,000). Now, trained librarians can use the equipment to record a live event and make it available to members on the same day. The mobile videobroadcasting unit offers a unique way to offer distance education opportunities to member libraries by presenting events and classes via streaming video.
Where Technology and Information Literacy Meet: Interactive Web-Based Tutorials for Lifelong Learning
Pamela Jackson, Computer Science Librarian, San José State University
Bridget Kowalczyk, Information Literacy Specialist, San José State University
San José State University (SJSU) and San José Public Library (SJPL) have been collaborating on innovative instructional design projects for local area teens. Technological advances in library instruction make it possible for libraries to reach out to the high school community, helping ensure that incoming university students are prepared for college life. Our group is creating a series of interactive, web-based instructional modules based on high school curricula and actual student assignments. Online tutorials can be done anytime, anywhere, making library instruction itself portable. This technology can help bridge a gap in students' information literacy skills, creating a better opportunity for them to succeed.