February 6, 2016

Booktalks and Book Reports in a Digital Age | Tech Tidbits

Teacher librarian Phil Goerner explains how librarians can help students implement digital tools to create 21st-century booktalks and book reports.

Small-Scale Usability Studies | Field Reports

We knew there were problems with our library website at Fitchburg State University (FSU). Users either couldn’t find what they wanted or were unaware of the site’s existence. This was particularly a problem owing to the limited number of librarians available to assist. While there was some consensus among librarians regarding these design problems, there was little agreement as to how these problems could be ­addressed. We decided that usability testing was needed before making changes, but we didn’t have the budget to develop an expensive usability lab with one-way mirrors, sophisticated eye-movement testing devices and the like. Despite this, with a little creativity, we were able to design a solid and reliable usability study with limited resources.

Linux Privacy Essentials | Field Reports

Providing Internet access to the public has come to be an important service, but it can be quite a challenge to do so in a secure, cost-effective way. Maintaining patron privacy on a shared, public computer is one of the problems that librarians face every day. My solution was to switch to an open source (OS) platform for our patron computing.

Consumer Electronics Show Previews Trends to Watch

On November 10, CES Unveiled New York—one of four worldwide events held in New York, Tokyo, Paris, and Las Vegas—offered a preview of the gigantic Consumer Electronics Show scheduled for January 6-9 in Las Vegas, focused on trends to watch in technology. These are the items our patrons will be researching before purchase in our libraries, getting as gifts—this year, surveys from Best Buy and digital commerce company Purch indicate that about three quarters of the buying public will purchase a tech product for the holidays—and bringing to the library for tech help, and perhaps hoping to try out on our gadget bars.

Professor, Library Map the Medieval World

Mappamundi is the online web portal for the Global Middle Ages Project (GMAP) based out of the University of Texas at Austin (UT). It links to a series of Digital Humanities projects by scholars from around the world about people, places, and objects from the period of roughly 500-1500 CE. Although many people think of this period solely as the European “Dark Ages,” the project directors are interested in portraying a much more global picture. Many of the projects focus on areas outside of Europe and are interested in cultural exchange between peoples.

Professor, Library Map the Medieval World

Mappamundi is the online web portal for the Global Middle Ages Project (GMAP) based out of the University of Texas at Austin (UT). It links to a series of Digital Humanities projects by scholars from around the world about people, places, and objects from the period of roughly 500-1500 CE. Although many people think of this period solely as the European “Dark Ages,” the project directors are interested in portraying a much more global picture. Many of the projects focus on areas outside of Europe and are interested in cultural exchange between peoples.

Twenty-Five Vlogs for Teens (and Teen Librarians)

Librarian and blogger Molly Wetta presents 25 notable channels and vlog series—covering categories such as gaming, beauty, and science and technology, and more—that may be of interest to teens.

Vlogging, Teens, and Literacy: Engaging Youth

Media and literacy scholar Antero Garcia explains why educators and librarians should be paying attention to vlogs and what it means for today’s teens’ literacy.

Manifold Scholarship Turns Scholarly Books into Iterative Digital Projects | Charleston Conference 2015

During the Charleston Conference session “New Platforms and Discovery Tools: Towards 21st Century University Presses and Libraries”, two Mellon Foundation-funded projects were introduced: UPScope Project, a university press-wide discovery engine based on natural language searches, being developed by the Association of American University Presses, and the Manifold Scholarship project, detailed below.

Educational Video with a Twist | SLJ Reviews Flocabulary

Remember the days of School House Rock? Enter Flocabulary. Jennifer Hanson sizes up the popular resource for educational hip-hop videos in SLJ’s review.