…and I’m kind of surprised and pleased by what happened.
Admittedly, it’s only been two days, and I’ve done this before (for different reasons), so I know I might eventually add it back. But for now, it’s doing what I had hoped and more.
I don’t have an endless scroll of posts and links and memes and videos to occupy my brain in the down times. I still have other social media apps, so there are plenty of things to occupy that space, but they aren’t nearly as prolific. Also, although I’m still on Twitter, I barely read it and usually only a subset of content when I do. (Come find me on Mastodon, if that’s your thing, though I’m not much more active there.)
The thing that surprised me, though, was a resurgence of the use of Pocket. I’ve started throwing links to essays and articles there for later reading as I peruse the scroll of social media elsewhere. Then, when I’m waiting in line, or have a few minutes before the next thing, or eating a meal alone, I have some handy reading material that I actually want to see.
I get “all caught up” on Instagram more quickly than I used to, and I’m trying to browse the Flickr app regularly, too, but it’s not a well designed.
When I do look at FB, it’s on a desktop browser with a plugin that filters out certain content. I mean, I know that one cousin loves right wing media and posting racist/homophobic memes, but thanks to the filter, I can remain ignorant on the details.
I find that in my time away from FB, not much had actually happened that needs my attention. I hope eventually I can settle back into the apathetic disinterest I had for it years ago.
I still have Messenger, though. Too many people I like use it instead of texting or email.
What the “Google Generation” Says About Using Library & Information Collections, Services, and Systems in the Digital Age
Speaker: Michael Eisenberg, University of Washington Information School
We’ve moved from scarcity to abundance to overload. We have so many great resources our students don’t know where to begin. They’re overwhelmed.
Think about how our computing technology has evolved and shrank in both size and price while increasing in power over the past 30 years. Where will be 20 years from now?
We live in a parallel information universe that is constantly feeding information back to us. The library is anywhere anytime, so how can we best meet the information needs of our users?
Project Information Literacy seeks to answer what it means to be a student in the digital age. They have been assessing different types of students on how they find and use information to get generalized pictures of who they are.
Why, when you have an information need, do you turn to Google first and not research databases?
Students ignore faculty warnings about Wikipedia. They still use it, but they just don’t cite it.
Students aren’t really procrastinators, they’re just busy. They are working to the last minute because every minute is highly scheduled. Have we changed our staffing or the nature of our services to help them at point of need?
Students don’t think of librarians as people who can help them with their research, they think of them as people who can help them with resources. They are more likely to go to their instructors and classmates before librarians during the research process. The hardest part for them is getting started and defining the topic (and narrowing it down). They don’t think librarians can help them with that, even though we can, and do (or should if we aren’t already).
Students are more practiced at writing techniques than research strategies. Professors complain that students can’t write, but maybe writing shouldn’t be the only method of expression.
Most students don’t fully understand the research process and what is expected. They need clarity on the nature and scope of assignments, and they aren’t used to critical thinking (“just tell me what you want and I’ll give it to you”). Most handouts from profs don’t explain this well, focusing more on mechanics and sending students to the library shelves (and not to databases or online resources). Rarely do they suggest talking to the librarian.
Students are not the multi-taskers we think they are, particularly during crunch time. Often they will use the library and library computers to force themselves to limit the distractions and focus. They use Facebook breaks as incentives to get things done.
After they graduate, former students are good with technology, but not so good with low-tech, traditional research/information discovery skills.
Information literacy needs are more important than ever, but they are evolving. Search to task to use to synthesis to evaluation — students need to be good at every stage. The library is shifting from the role of information to space, place, and equipment. Buying the resources is less of an emphasis (although not less in importance), and the needs change with the academic calendar.
What do we do about all this?
Infuse high quality, credible resources and materials into courses and classes. Consider resources and collections in relation to Wikipedia. Infuse information literacy learning opportunities into resources, access systems, facilities, and services (call it “giving credit,” which they understand more than citing). Provide resources, expertise, and services related to assignments. Re-purpose staff and facilities related to calendar and needs. Offer to work with faculty to revise handouts — emphasize the quality of resources not the mechanics. Offer flexible and collaborative spaces with a range of capabilities and technology, less emphasis on print collection development. Consider school-to-work transitions in access systems, resources, services, and instruction.
Beyond formal instruction, what are the ways we can help students gain the essential information literacy skills they need? That is the challenge for eresources librarians.
They used a Lazer Tag like system to set up “Hunger Games” nights in the library. They also used a bunch of interactive tech toys for different kinds of game nights.
They’re mounting tables as shelf labels that show the range in sleep mode, but when activated will display reviews and other information about books in the range, as well as other interactive multimedia.
Speaker: Sarah Houghton
Cutting stuff. Cutting lots of things out of the budget, services, etc. All of these things we learn about take time and money, and we can’t do all of them. She’s making everyone in her library earn their pet program. It has to show some sort of ROI (not specifically financial). Make business decisions about what we do and why.
Q: What did you cut that you didn’t want to?
A: Magnatune deal — really wanted to do it, but didn’t have the staff time and a negative amount of money to dedicate to anything.
Speaker: Ben Bizzle
We are doing a really poor job of marketing ourselves to our communities, and we’re wasting money on old methods and tools to do it. There are more cost-effective ways to do this, particularly for public libraries. Facebook is a really cost-effective way to market to your community over and over again, and running ads to get people in your community to like your Facebook page has been shown to be very effective. Be part of the stream without being disruptive. Facebook events invitations are disruptive and ineffective.
Next big things from the audience:
Would like to have a better way to provide remote authentication for users from anywhere, regardless of the speed of the connection (i.e. 3G mobile phone or a hotel wireless connection).
Focusing on programming that brings the Spanish-speaking and English-speaking communities together.
Integrating local self-published creators’ content within the rest of the library’s electronic content.
Trying to find better metrics to measure success for ROI.
Developing community investors from FOL and active volunteers.
Giving up paper flyers/posters and moving to digital.
Moving social media effort to marketing department.
Looking at duplicate efforts and winnowing them down.
Learning how to code.
Hiring part-time and hiring non-librarians.
FRBR. RDA. Say no more.
Advocacy. Facetime with politicians and other sources of funding.
Would like to hear more from public libraries on ‘bring your own device’ initiatives that could be applied in the academic library setting.
Gamification of library resources and services.
Wikipedia – we should be creating more content there.
Better relationships with publishers.
The next level of life-long learning like Coursera and making the library a hub for it.
Downloadble database of music by local musicians.
Copyright, curations, folksonomies, and other issues of creating communities.
Digitization projects that engage specific communities.
Keeping my head above water. Migrating to a more self-service model while maintaining a high level of service.
Moving to a new ILS. Proprietary or open source?
Reaching out to atypical non-users. Running ads in local for sale magazines.
The Gang of Four: Google, Apple, Amazon, & Facebook
Google tends to acquire companies to grow the capabilities of it. We all know about Apple. Amazon sells more ebooks than print books now. Facebook is… yeah. That.
And then we jump to selecting a discovery service. You would do that in order to make the best use of the licensed content. This guy’s library did a soft launch in the past year of the discovery service they chose, and it’s had an impact on the instruction and tools (i.e. search boxes) he uses.
And I kind of lost track of what he was talking about, in part because he jumped from one thing to the next, without much of a transition or connection. I think there was something about usability studies after they implemented it, although they seemed to focus on more than just the discovery service.
Speaker: Alison Steinberg Gurganus
Why choose a discovery system? You probably already know. Students lack search skills, but they know how to search, so we need to give them something that will help them navigate the proprietary stuff we offer out on the web.
The problem with the discovery systems is that they are very proprietary. They don’t quite play fairly or nicely with competitor’s content yet.
Our users need to be able to evaluate, but they also need to find the stuff in the first place. A great discovery service should be self-explanatory, but we don’t have that yet.
We have students who understand Google, which connects them to all the information and media they want. We need something like that for our library resources.
When they were implementing the discovery tool, they wanted to make incremental changes to the website to direct users to it. They went from two columns, with the left column being text links to categories of library resources and services, to three columns, with the discover search box in the middle column.
When they were customizing the look of the discovery search results, they changed the titles of items to red (from blue). She notes that users tend to ignore the outside columns because that’s where Google puts advertisements, so they are looking at ways to make that information more visible.
I also get the impression that she doesn’t really understand how a discovery service works or what it’s supposed to do.
Speaker: Athena Hoeppner
Hypothesis: discovery includes sufficient content of high enough quality, with full text, and …. (didn’t type fast enough).
Looked at final papers from a PhD level course (34), specifically the methodology section and bibliography. Searched for each item in the discovery search as well as one general aggregator database and two subject-specific databases. The works cited were predominately articles, with a significant number of web sources that were not available through library resources. She was able to find more citations in the discovery search than in Google Scholar or any of the other library databases.
Clearly the discovery search was sufficient for finding the content they needed. Then they used a satisfaction survey of the same students that covered familiarity and frequency of use for the subject indexes, discovery search, and Google Scholar. Ultimately, it came down that the students were satisfied and happy with the subject indexes, and too few respondents to get a sense of satisfaction with the discovery search or Google Scholar.
Conclusions: Students are unfamiliar with the discovery system, but it could support their research needs. However, we don’t know if they can find the things they are looking for in it (search skills), nor do we know if they will ultimately be happy with it.
Speaker: Kathryn Johns-Masten, State University of New York Oswego
About half of American adults have smart phones now. Readers of e-books tend to read more frequently than others. They may not be reading more academic material, but they are out there reading.
SUNY Oswego hasn’t implemented a mobile site, but the library really wanted one, so they’ve created their own using the iWebKit from MIT.
Once they began the process of creating the site, they had many conversations about who they were targeting and what they expected to be used in a mobile setting. They were very selective about which resources were included, and considered how functional each tool was in that setting. They ended up with library hours, contact, mobile databases, catalog, ILL article retrieval (ILLiad), ask a librarian, Facebook, and Twitter (in that order).
When developing a mobile site, start small and enhance as you see the need. Test functionality (pull together users of all types of devices at the same time, because one fix might break another), review your usage statistics, and talk to your users. Tell your users that it’s there!
Tools for designing your mobile site: MobiReady, Squeezer, Google Mobile Site Builder, Springshare Mobile Site Builder, Boopsie, Zinadoo, iWebKit, etc.
Other things related to library mobile access… Foursquare! The library has a cheat sheet for answers to the things freshman are required to find on campus, so maybe they could use Foursquare to help with this. Tula Rosa Public Library used a screen capture of Google Maps to help users find their new location. QR codes could link to ask a librarian, book displays linked to reviews, social media, events, scavenger hunts, etc. Could use them to link sheet music to streaming recordings.