A recent article of possible interest: Distance Students' Attitude Toward Library Help Seeking.
Distance students' attitude toward seeking library help was examined in a medium sized university. A web-based survey was conducted for indentifying library help seeking attitudes among distance students. A 30-mile radius of the campus was used to arbitrarily distinguish between near campus and far campus groups. The study concluded that distance students who visit library and seek help more frequently are more likely have higher self-efficacy on learning. Among all types of library help sources, Libguides were the most used. Near campus students preferred face-to-face consultation more than virtual service, and they also tend to seek help from peers. However, far campus students were more likely seek help with a distance librarian. Email continued to be the most common way of distributing and receiving library information. Social network tools for information seeking were not appreciated as had been anticipated. Implications of the findings for providing effective reference service are discussed. There is not one reference service model that fits all. A library should determine the best reference service that meets the changes of their communities and library's function over time.
"On April 29, 2014 the Interim Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Chantal Bernier, revealed that Canadian telecommunications companies have disclosed enormous volumes of information to state agencies."
This lead sentence comes from Citizen Lab's recent post, Responding to the Crisis in Canadian Telecommunications. I heard about that post after listening to the most recent episode (#31) of Jesse Brown's Canadaland podcast, Your Telecom Provider is Selling your Information to the Government. Well worth the 32 minutes!
Using the template in the blog post above I have sent requests to Telus (mobile), Fido (mobile) and Shaw (Cable, Internet, VOIP) asking them to disclose the personal information it collects, retains, manages, and discloses about me, and I plan to post the information I receive here because CitizenLab makes such a compelling case and I want this information generally to be public:
Why Your Requests Matter
Beyond simply exercising your legal rights, these requests matter on both the personal and the national level. Personally, by filing these requests you will be empowered to think about whether you’re OK with the amount(s) of information that your telecommunications companies collect or record about you, the duration of time they record that information, and their willingness to explain who they share information with. In effect, you won’t be at the mercy of pundits and talking heads to explain whether the collection of data matters to your life, in the abstract, because you’ll have the data in hand to make your own decisions and reach your own conclusions.
Beyond self-empowerment, it’s important for Canadians generally to file these requests to telecommunications companies because the companies have so steadfastly refused to communicate with the experts, with government bodies, and with interested members of the press. Almost all of the ‘polite’ ways of figuring out what these companies are up to have been exhausted: it’s time, unfortunately, to compel these companies to explain why they collect data, how much of it they collect, and explain why they disclose the information. To be clear, telecommunications companies in the United States and Europe have already begun releasing ‘transparency reports’, or documents explaining how and why the companies share information with state agencies. Those reports are the result of American and European publics supporting their civil advocates and privacy officers, lending their incredibly powerful voices to the policy and legal efforts that had been ongoing for years. Canadians are amongst the most digitally connected populations on earth: now it’s time for us all to figure out who’s been monitoring, and disclosing, who we’ve been connecting to and whether existing practices need to be reined in.
Requests were sent via email to Shaw and Telus on May 7, 2014, and via snail mail to Fido on May 8, 2014. I received an automated email response from Telus in 24 minutes, and nothing of the sort from Shaw.
I'll be back in early June or sooner with an update.
You may remember Dale Askey from such posts as Edwin Mellen Press files lawsuit against academic librarian, Minor updates on the Edwin Mellen lawsuit, and ONE lawsuit dropped by Edwin Mellen Press, but Askey is still being sued personally #FreeDaleAskey. All's been quiet in public on that whole fiasco as far as I can tell, but this just in:
The Canadian Library Association is pleased to announce that Dale Askey, of McMaster University, has been chosen as winner of the 2014 Award for the Advancement of Intellectual Freedom in Canada for his commitment to intellectual freedom in the face of an unprecedented defamation suit brought against him by the academic publisher Edwin Mellen Press.
Congratulations and stand strong, Dale!
Primary Research Group, publisher of research reports and surveys about libraries, is surveying academic libraries world wide for a report on how libraries serve distance learning programs. Participants receive a free PDF copy of the report generated from the survey data. Participants are listed in the report but answers are confidential. To take the survey go the site listed below:
I just finished reading a report called Working together: evolving value for academic libraries, and found it a good read.
Presenting the results of several surveys, the authors describe the areas in which academic libraries have traditionally attempted to demonstrate value (embedded teaching), and the areas in which they should probably start putting more focus (research support).
I had highlights throughout, but thought I'd mention their recommended skills for individual librarians (there are also recommendations for library management and the wider institution):
Some references to follow up (some from this report, some from my own to-read list):
CALL FOR PAPERS
Workshop on Digital Surfaces in
We invite you to join DSL, a venue for collaboration and discussion on the successes and pitfalls encountered in working in with interactive surfaces in library spaces by bringing together researchers, designers, practitioners, and librarians. This full day workshop is held in conjunction with Interactive Tables and Surfaces (ITS) 2013 in St Andrews, UK on October 6, 2013.
Libraries have embraced the recent explosion of digital content and no longer are simply warehouses of physical books. Today's libraries are gathering places that are challenged with enabling collaboration, accessing and exposing physical and digital collections, and supporting the creation and integration of new forms of knowledge.
Interactive surfaces in libraries support moving away from text-dominated search interfaces; the nature of direct interaction encourages the integration of graphics, spatial interaction with information, and the possibility adding input to the system. Additionally, surface technology enables the interactive presentation of information to individuals or groups.
The goal of DSL is to cross-fertilize insights from different disciplines, to establish a more general understanding of interactive displays in library contexts, and to develop an agenda for future research directions in this area. Rather than focusing on paper presentations, this workshop aims to trigger active and dynamic group discussions as well as future collaboration.
We accept 2 page work in progress or position papers that provides an overview of your current research or research interests in the area of interactive surfaces in library spaces.
The papers should be prepared in the SIGCHI extended abstract format. You can download Word and LaTeX templates from the SIGCHI website: http://www.sigchi.org/publications/chipubform.
Papers must be submitted by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. A receipt will be sent upon successful submission. They will be published on the workshop web site http://libraryworkshop.cs.st-andrews.ac.uk/ prior to the event.
Potential topics for discussion include but are not limited to the following questions:
* What is the potential of
interactive surfaces in library spaces?
* What are potentially useful and attractive application areas, even beyond information exploration?
* How can we design large surface interfaces to help the exploration and analysis of library collections?
* How can interactive surface technology promote collaborative scenarios in library environments?
* What tools are available to support social experiences and collaboration?
* Stories of failure: What are the pitfalls of interactive surfaces in library spaces and what can we learn from them?
* What might be guidelines and best practices for deployment and uses of interactive surfaces?
* How can partnerships between researchers and libraries & archives be established to achieve successful collaborations for all parties?
* What is the future of interactive surfaces in library spaces and how can they be combined with other (novel) technologies and existing exploration practices?
Submission deadline: August 26, 2013
Notification of acceptance: August 30, 2013
ITS early registration deadline: September 6, 2013
Workshop date: October 6, 2013
John Brosz – University of Calgary, Canada
Uta Hinrichs – University of St Andrews, United Kingdom
Renee Reaume – University of Calgary, Canada
For any questions regarding the workshop, contact email@example.com
My quest continues. I didn't think it was all the way back in January that I last posted about this dream, but it was! Postifier is a little gizmo intended to be put inside a mailbox that will alert you when there's actually something placed inside:
The device lives on the inner roof of your postbox, attached with adhesive. It has a sensor that detects changes in infrared light when new mail arrives. When it detects mail, it activates the Bluetooth module and waits for the Postifier/smartphone reunion, at which point it will connect with your paired device and tell you the news.
So it's not quite the reporting structure I imagine, but the technology would be perfect to detect whether there's a pair of legs under a given study table, no?
Postifier doesn't actually exist yet, as it's looking for funding on Indiegogo. Waffling about whether to throw in some money just for testing. At $20-$25 each, it's still not an economical way to cover a couple hundred seats :-(
I should also point out this project at Oregon State that Cathrine linked to in the comments of my earlier post: http://beaversource.oregonstate.edu/projects/44x201213. Can anyone tell if these design files are enough to manufacture? I had been in touch with the students involved in the project, but haven't heard anything from them lately...
Oh, and there's this too: Wimoto.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
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...