I'm here in New Orleans for another night, finishing up a visit to ALA. I was here primarily to participate on the Summon Advisory Board, but also spent today in the exhibits hall. If you're reading this in time to take advantage, here are a couple booths you should hit while here, depending of course on what you're looking for :-)
More generally, I was very impressed with what I saw of Springshare's new Mobile Site Builder and LibAnalytics modules. Yes, I know I can do both of those things myself, or with open source tools, but damn they make it easy and affordable. So much less hassle just to use their tools. Mango Languages just released an iOS app, which is the full content from the website. A no-brainer if you subscribe to their service already. There was one other vendor that I wanted to post something about, but it's completely slipped my mind. :-(
So I guess with that I'll just leave you with this NSFW summary of the weather here over the past few days:
Know what? I pirated two ebooks yesterday. My wife purchased two titles from the B&N Nook store, and after we collectively spent nearly two hours attempting to get them to transfer to her Sony PRS-350 ereader I gave up and grabbed them via bittorrent, and had them installed in a matter of minutes. That included finding, downloading, and then moving over to the ereader. I even did a fair amount of research trying to get Calibre plugins to help me strip the DRM, and was unsuccessful there before I went rogue.
What's that saying about DRM? Damn, I can't find the one about how DRM only works against law-abiding citizens, but I did find this one that says the same thing: Every time DRM prevents legitimate playback, a pirate gets his wings.
Stupid DRM. Wasted my time, didn't accomplish what it was supposed to.
Since 2004, the annual ECAR study of undergraduate students and information technology has sought to shed light on how information technology affects the college experience. We ask students about the technology they own and how they use it in and out of their academic world. We gather information about how skilled students believe they are with technologies; how they perceive technology is affecting their learning experience; and their preferences for IT in courses. The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2010 is a longitudinal extension of the annual 2004 through 2009 studies. It is based on quantitative data from a spring 2010 survey of 36,950 freshmen and seniors at 100 four-year institutions and students at 27 two-year institutions; student focus groups that included input from 84 students at 4 institutions; and review of qualitative data from written responses to open-ended questions. In addition to exploring student ownership, experience, behaviors, preferences, and skills with respect to information technologies, including ownership and use of Internet-capable handheld devices, the 2010 study also includes a special focus on student use of social networking websites and web-based applications.
Lots of interesting information in this Educause Center for Applied Research report. The Key Findings run 13 pages, with the full report clocking in at 120 pages. Much of it is as you might expect - more students using laptops, social networking (but still not Twitter, they're all on Facebook), and mobile internet devices.
Chapter 5 also has a section exploring technology and information literacy skills. I found the results surprisingly high, but I've been out of the instruction side of things for a few years now:
Eight out of 10 students rate themselves as very skilled or expert at using the Internet to effectively and efficiently search for information; fewer than 6 of 10 said they were very skilled or expert at evaluating the reliability and credibility of online information; and fewer than half said they were very skilled or expert at understanding the ethical or legal issues of accessing and using digital information.
Lots of good current information to help you understand how students on your campus use technology.
Granted, I don't monitor Twitter for mention of many other libraries, but a couple of news stories about the video game collection that will be opening within the Taylor Family Digital Library here at the University of Calgary next year have resulted in more Twitter-love for the UofC than I've ever seen before. You can peek at the current search results, but here's a nice screenshot for you (click to embiggen).
The news articles referenced by the various tweets include U of C creates video game library space (CBC), Pac-Man gets new respect as U of C research tool (Calgary Herald), and Video game centre installed on campus (UofC Gauntlet). And a whole bunch of mostly gaming-related blogs have picked up links to those stories as well. Check the comments, especially on the CBC article, for the usual pro and con arguments about something new(ish) like this.
Geez that's a lot of white space left in here now. I'll leave it 'cause that long list of tweets creates such an awesome impression! ;-)
This could be interesting to watch, and though it's a little convoluted, it appears that you can do just that. The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (CHPC) has commissioned a study on Emerging and digital media: opportunities and challenges. "In this study, the Committee on Canadian Heritage will explore developments in emerging and digital media, how they are affecting Canadian cultural industries, and what federal institutions could do to assist Canadians and Canadian cultural industries benefit from these developments."
As part of its study, the Committee will examine the following questions:
(thanks for the tip Dani)
I haven't been giving much thought to the recent privacy/policy changes at Facebook, but did find this tool pretty interesting. ReclaimPrivacy.org has a tool that will scan your Facebook settings and let you know what the world can know about you, and how to tweak the settings if you find something you don't like. Here's what my initial scan revealed:
The only thing I found that I decided to change was that a couple of my photo albums which included pictures of my kids were available for anyone to view; I changed that to friends only. Neat tool though, you might want to check it out.
I had an interesting meeting today with a Grad Art student. She's planning on broadcasting her final project as a live performance this Fall, and wondered if Libraries and Cultural Resources could help stage it all; it'll be displayed in our Museum, after all.
After a nice chat over coffee I told her I thought we could indeed help, but I need a couple of suggestions from y'all. I'll do my own homework as well, but if you already know of the perfect solution, would you let me know?
1) Are you aware of a wearable webcam? Something that could broadcast a person's point of view? I'm aware of the sport-cams that will record to media, but am so far unaware of something of that size that can broadcast live.
2) There's going to be an audience participation component - probably a live webchat. Something like Ustream will probably do the trick, but we're concerned about inappropriate content appearing in the chat stream; this whole project will be recorded and archived as part of the final thesis. Are you aware of a service that does some sort of live profanity-filtering on the chat stream? Other suggestions besides Ustream?
Thanks in advance all, and I'll let you know as the project progresses.
Registration is now open for Computers in Libraries 2010, to be held in Arlington, VA, April 12-14. I'll be reprising my Screencasting preconference workshop, and am looking forward to 1) incorporating feedback received from my last workshop at Internet Librarian, and 2) having a smoking-fast machine upon which to demonstrate this time :-). I haven't been to CIL since 1994 (my first and only visit), and am really looking forward to it. Hope to see you there!
The CBC has a brief report about an interesting marketing effort by the Calgary Public Library system. The comments illustrate how important marketing in general is :-/ Thanks for the pointer Shawna.
According to a message sent to members of the m-libraries Facebook page, the Third International M-Libraries conference will be held sometime in March, 2011 in Brisbane, Australia. No more details than that at this time.
Also included in that message was the following announcement:
John Burger, from the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries in the U.S. is planning to run a series of webinars on mobile service developments. He is looking for presenters – see his message below:
If you have developed a customized website or a service designed for delivery via smart phones – or have one under development -- we’d like to hear from you! Please describe your mobile service(s) via the form below so we can arrange to include your information in an upcoming “show-and-tell” style webinar.
Note that ASERL handles all the logistics of the webinars – we are seeking presenters to provide the content. Typically these are brief overviews/demonstrations (10 – 15 minutes each) so participants can get a basic understanding of the service and have contact information for follow-up questions. We’ll schedule each webinar at a time that is convenient for the presenter.
Apparently the Annoyed Librarian continues to live up to the name. I learn this second-hand by reading a post by Laura at Llyfrgellydd, and watching a great vlog post by David Rothman at davidrothman.net. David, I too encourage you to communicate via this medium in the future - really enjoyed that!
I looked up ad hominem for my own edification - the Apple dictionary defines it thusly:
(of an argument or reaction) arising from or appealing to the emotions and not reason or logic.
• attacking an opponent’s motives or character rather than the policy or position they maintain : vicious ad hominem attacks.
Last week I got my invite to Google Wave, and Chad Haefele and I played with it for a little bit (he's the only other person I know with an account so far, even though I've sent out a few invites of my own). It's kinda slick, but we were both just poking sticks at it to see what it might be good for. Today on twitter someone posted a link to this video, which does an excellent job of explaining 3.5% of what Wave is all about (epipheo's stats, not mine)
Incidentally, this is my first time trying TypePad's newest embed feature - it works great - it's the small things :-)
Some miscellaneous links you may find of interest: