Netspeed is Alberta's library technology conference, and it's been a few years since I've attended 'cause it always seemed to be about a year behind the times to me. I know, I'm responsible for the content too, and I have spoken at the conference in the past, but overall it just hasn't floated my boat in a while.
That's why I'm really excited to see this year's program (PDF), which has the following things that will have me attending this year:
Come join us, October 23-25. Early Bird registration runs until September 15.
I haven't had a chance to look through it at all, but was really pleased to learn about the new Alberta Open Data Portal, which,
...makes data the provincial government collects on behalf of citizens publicly available in machine readable formats with an open licence. This means there are no technical or legal restrictions for using the data.
By sharing this data, the Alberta government is increasing the transparency of government business, promoting economic opportunity and increasing citizen involvement in government.
The open data portal currently contains about 280 data sets. New data will be added to the site on an ongoing basis as departments identify what data is available and ensure it does not contain any personal or proprietary information. The public can also request data sets through the portal.
Also announced is a landing page for official Government of Alberta mobile apps. I'm less enamoured of the fact that money was spent to develop an app for Alberta Baby Names when funding for higher education in Alberta has been so recently and brutally slashed.
Thanks for the notice, Dani!
Serveral weeks ago as a result of a post by Michael Stephens I was introduced to this awesome page of usage visualizations at the Traverse Area District Library (Traverse City, MI). I had a great email exchange with the developer, Bill Rockwood, about how he put it together, and he's since posted a page outlining how it was built. Eventually, as time permits, Bill and his team will put the code up on GitHub for the rest of the world to use :-) Definitely worth a peek. Are you aware of any similar projects?
Just wanted to draw your attention to a great article I finally got around to reading: How Users Search the Library from a Single Search Box, May 2013 College & Research Libraries, vol. 74 no. 3 227-241. It's the story of how the search box at NCSU Libraries was developed, and word for word it pretty much mirrors why and how we built ours here at the U of Calgary.
Well here's some good news!
An interesting report on the Casting Out Nines Blog (part of the Chronicle of Higher Education Blog Network): Who does screencasting help the most? The author summarizes the results of a Winter 2011 paper in Advances in Engineering Education (PDF), and concludes that,
I think it suggests that screencasts, when done well and deployed properly, help all students – they certainly don’t hurt – and they help most thise (sic) students who need the most help. The analogies to mathematics courses are clear. In any math course there will be a large contingent of students whose backgrounds aren’t congruous with the course: students whose prior math background is weak to rusty, students from non-STEM disciplines, and so on. For those students, if they use the screencasts, then they may be likely to improve at a surprisingly fast rate.
Not earth-shattering, but encouraging. Keep on screencasting!
I received the following via email:
The Journal of Library and Information Service in Distance Learning, a peer-reviewed journal published by Taylor & Francis, welcomes the submission of manuscripts.
The journal is devoted to the issues and concerns of librarians and information specialists involved with distance education and delivering library resources and services to this growing community of students.
Topics can include but are not limited to:
If you are interested in submitting an article, this journal uses ScholarOne Manuscripts (previously Manuscript Central) to peer review manuscript submissions. Please read the “Guide for ScholarOne Authors” before making a submission.
Complete guidelines for preparing and submitting your manuscript to this journal are provided at http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=journal&issn=1533-290X.
The Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning receives all manuscript submissions electronically via their ScholarOne Manuscripts website.
Inquiries and questions are welcome and can be sent directly to the editor, Jodi Poe, at email@example.com.
Please note: We accept manuscript submissions through the year; however, the deadline to have your article appear in our next issue, if accepted, is August 1, 2013. Accepted and approved manuscripts received after this date have no guarantee of being included in the next published issue.
Oh wow, this might actually be a real game-changer. Clippick is a cross-platform (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android) tool / app that does one thing only: you copy something on one device, and then the next time you hit Paste on any of your other devices, whatever you copied on the first device ends up there. In my very limited testing so far, text and URLs are available to paste almost instantly. Haven't tried yet with images.
I distinctly remember sitting next to a student while helping him work through a search back in, probably 1995 or 1996 - it was when I was working at Nova Southeastern University. We were running the same search on computers next to each other, and I had found something with a long URL that I wanted to share. I thought, "self, wouldn't it be cool if there was some way I could just copy this URL and have it appear on his screen?". THIS is that tool!
As it's currently configured, you couldn't just install this on all the machines in your reference area 'cause people would be pasting other people's peanut butter all over their chocolate. But if this could be configured with multiple accounts, or some sort of trigger that support staff could flip when desired, this tool could come in play as necessary.
Check out the intro video - There's no specific iPad app, but you can install the iPhone app there and it works just fine.
As reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education and the CBC, Edwin Mellen Press has dropped ONE lawsuit; the one that names both Dale Askey and McMaster University, but according to an email sent to the ARL board of directors by Vivian Lewis, Acting University Librarian at McMaster, EMP has NOT dropped the original suit against Dale personally! This is mentioned in passing in an update to the Chronicle piece as well, though seems to be glossed over in favour of the good news for McMaster University :-/
Notice that in their press release, EMP says they're dropping one of the lawsuits not because they were in the wrong, but because "The financial pressure of the social media campaign and pressure on authors is severe. EMP is a small company. Therefore must choose to focus its resources on its business and serving its authors. Accordingly, EMP has discontinued the court case against McMaster University and Dale Askey."
Oh, and I find it hilarious that EMP opens their press release by stomping their foot and crossing their arms in a huff, "The Edwin Mellen Press (“EMP”) is a scholarly publisher. This has been confirmed in a recent Open Letter to the Scholarly Community posted on the web by the Association of Canadian University Presses." (emphasis mine).
Keep up the pressure all - Dale's not out of the woods yet!
Here's a site you might want to browse through: The APLEN Training Centre.
APLEN is the Alberta Public Library Electronic Network, and the Training Centre is "a hub for libraries to share their training materials, learn from the collective experience of library staff, and discuss Alberta library training." There are quite a few guides from which to take inspiration. Offered with a Creative Commons license, this makes a good companion to the Librarian Design Share site I mentioned earlier this month...
Yay for sharing!
Just a quick post to point to Publisher hits new low: Suing librarian for criticizing their books, John DuPuis' comprehensive and always updated timeline of events / statements of support for Askey / condemnation for EMP. I won't mention the situation again until something breaks...