Back in November I posted about my desire for some way to reliably monitor and report available study seats within the library. I recently heard about Pinoccio, an Indiegogo project, and suspect it might do the trick! It's a very small Arduino board with an optional WiFi board. If one plugged a motion sensor, or used the included temperature sensor, it'd probably be able to report whether there was a body sitting at a given location. Small enough to work, WiFi and a long-life(?) battery. Ooh, even better, you don't need the WiFi bridge for each unit, only one for a given area, so that brings down the cost and complexity.
Pricing in bulk seems reasonable - they have a $999 package that would get you 20 monitors and a WiFi shield. Unfortunately we still have a couple hundred seats I'd like to be able to monitor, so realistically we probably still have to get the cost down. That's the primary reason I haven't given more thought to a more finished product like Twine... I think I'll drop the founders a note asking if they think this whole thing would work, and if so, go ahead and pick up a starter kit for testing.
Your full citation:
Nice to finally see our new library here at the U of Calgary hosting non-traditional events, just as this year's edition of Global Game Jam. If you're in the Calgary area, why not participate?
Just ran across ChronoZoom this AM, which immediately reminded me of Prezi in the way things zoom around. It does look pretty cool, but so far appears to only contain content produced by the beta participants. While this makes sense as a beta, I really hope they open it up to contributions from a wider community.
ChronoZoom is an open source community project dedicated to visualizing the history of everything to bridge the gap between the humanities and sciences using the story of Big History to easily understand all this information. This project has been funded and supported by Microsoft Research Connections in collaboration with University California at Berkeley and Moscow State University.
I also don't like that you can't link to a specific piece of content, but a really good illustration of the timeline feature is if you take a peek at the World War II Tour:
You can view use the project on your iPad, which is cool. Here's a nice video introduction:
We've got the whole workstation availability thing licked, but I want to be able to show our users which study seats are available here in the TFDL. That's one of the top two most common complaints here; that students spend too much time wandering around looking for a place to sit/study.
Here's my stream of consciousness on the issue. The solution can't be built in to the chairs, because those can move from table to cubicle etc. I think the most accurate bet is going to be a small proximity or motion detection device at every single table top, either above (subject to being blocked by study materials) or below (subject to confusion by a pushed-in chair?). The problem with that solution is cost and infrastructure. Unless very efficient, each unit would require electricity and a wifi transmitter. Building or buying and maintaining several hundred small Arduino-like devices seems too cumbersome and expensive.
Some other ideas I've come up with, or that have been suggested by colleagues, include cameras that can monitor a large space and tell which spots have bodies sitting at them. Possibly IR cameras? Tracking the number of active wifi connections on a floor, or around a particular antenna, and then guestimating that there must be a certain number of available seats, though not able to pinpoint them on a map.
Are you aware of any solutions out there already?
Apologies for the delay on getting this one up - I had a bit of a time finding a simple solution to host a very large (over 100mb) powerpoint presentation. Slideboom to the rescue!:
Here's the whole thing (pptx) if you'd like to download it.
In this talk Erik Boekesteijn, Jaap Van de Geer, Jeff Wisniewski and I presented a fair number of examples of libraries we thought have done a good job of rethinking the spaces they occupy, and also threw out some food for thought for anyone considering revising their library spaces through renovation or new building. Important to note that some of these examples can be emulated w/o much money at all, so don't let that be an excuse!
Had I seen them before we put together the presentation I would've included the following two articles:
If You Build It, Will They Come? Library Learning Spaces and Technology - Educause Review:
In the first year after the Shapiro Library at the University of Michigan undertook a renovation of a large lobby space on the first floor of the building, we were surprised to find that one of the embedded technology options wasn’t being used much, and we didn’t know why.
"Earlier this year, the building's DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library became one of the first academic libraries in the United States to provide 3D scanning and printing to all students and faculty, as well as the public."
So you may have noticed I haven't been blogging much over the past year or so. In part, this presentation explains why. At the University of Calgary we (not so) recently opened a new building, the Taylor Family Digital Library (aka TFDL). I was heavily involved not so much in choosing, but in implementing a fair amount of the technology we put in place in the building, which we wanted to be one of the most technologically advanced in North America, if not the entire world. Last week, my colleague Dr. John Brosz and I presented on the new building at Internet Librarian 2012 in Monterey. You can read Info Today's writeup of the presentation (with correct URL to virtual tour), and you can watch the presentation via slideshare below, or follow the link and download the presentation to enjoy offline.
I took the kids down to the East Village today for the inaugural Calgary Mini Maker Faire, and we all had a blast! I've been wanting to get involved somehow in the maker movement for quite some time, but never made the effort to get down to our local hacker lab, Protospace. That'll probably change if the kids have anything to say about it.
I was very impressed by the organization of the event. I was a little worried about running in to some anti-social nerds, but every single one of the tables we visited had a friendly, articulate, passionate person behind it. Nobody talked down to me or the kids, and they were all, without exception, eager to talk about their projects and answer as many questions as we had.
The thing that surprised me most was how much time my daughter spent with the "old-school" makers, learning to comb wool and spin it into yarn. I think I learned more from those ladies than I did from any of the more "traditional" robotics, 3D printing and electronics booths as well! At one table we were looking at silkworm cocoons and learning how silk is made from them. We had just been working with the wool, and I hadn't yet touched the silk, which from a few feet away kinda looked like the wool we'd just left. It wasn't until about 5 minutes in that it dawned on me that we weren't talking about some sort of silkworm wool, but frickin' silk! I know, I'm slow, but I'd never seen the stuff coming off a cocoon. Truly amazing.
Not to say we didn't learn a lot about 3D printers and robotics as well. My son picked up a Cybug Scarab (ooh, there's a website redesign contract I can suggest!), and I finally got an Arduino beginner's kit that I've long thought would be a good way to get started. My son and I sucessfully built the first blinky light experiment this evening :-) There were quite a few 3D printers going; I think another year or so and they'll be well under $1,000. I'd hoped to see an egg-bot in action, but no such luck.
Here are a couple more random pix:
Just received via email:
The Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning is excited to offer FREE access to its Summer Reading List: a collection of Editor selected articles from its archives centered on the theme of Online Instruction. Articles include:
Using Adobe Connect to Deliver Online Library Instruction to the RN to BSN Program, Kathleen Carlson, 5(4)
Graduate Student Library Research Skills: Is Online Instruction Effective?, Barbara A. Shaffer, 5(1/2)
Playing to Win: Embedded Librarians in Online Classrooms, Sandra Lee Hawes, 5(1/2)
New Library, New Librarian, New Student: Using LibGuides to Reach the Viral Student, Sara Roberts and Dwight Hunter, 5(1/2)
View the entire Summer Reading List and enjoy access until August 31, 2012.
The Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning specifically addresses the issues and concerns of librarians and information specialists in the rapidly growing field of distance education. The journal addresses a wide variety of subjects vital to the field, including, but not limited to: collection development strategies, faculty/librarian partnerships or collaborations, cutting edge instruction and reference techniques, document delivery, remote access and evaluations.
For more information about the Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, please visit the journal's webpage: www.tandfonline.com/WLIS
On May 7-9, 2012 the University of Calgary hosted the 6th Canadian Learning Commons Conference. The theme of the conference was New Media, New Fluencies and Life Skills Development: Preparing Learners for the 21st Century.
The proceedings for that conference have now been posted in the UofC Institutional Repository. Enjoy!
Maybe it's because I don't actually look for it, but it seems that most of the research / survey results I see is geared towards learning about how undergrads use / perceive the library, and services surrounding information seeking.
JISC and The British Library have just released a "major study into the behavioural habits of the 'Generation Y' PhD students".
The Researchers of Tomorrow project surveyed 17,000 doctoral students over the course of its three year longitudinal study to set a benchmark for the research behaviour of so-called Generation Y students born between 1983-1992. The final year of the study looked in detail at researchers’ use of social media applications within the research setting, and it found that, over the three-year period, there has been only a gradual increase in use of the social web and social media, which may seem surprising considering our increasingly digitalised culture.
I've only read the press release so far, but there are some pretty interesting nuggets in there, such as,
Other findings from the report include a continuing lack of understanding about the nature of open access. Generation Y students felt that putting their own work out openly will bring them no positive benefits, and may even have a negative impact. Equally, doctoral students’ understanding of the intellectual property and copyright environment appears to be a source of confusion, rather than an enabler of innovation.
Much work still to be done!!!!!