NASIG 2013: Collaboration in a Time of Change

CC BY 2.0 2013-06-10
“soccer practice” by woodleywonderworks

Speaker: Daryl Yang

Why collaborate?

Despite how popular Apple products are today, they almost went bankrupt in the 90s. Experts believe that despite their innovation, their lack of collaboration led to this near-downfall. iTunes, iPod, iPad — these all require working with many developers, and is a big part of why they came back.

Microsoft started off as very open to collaboration and innovation from outside of the company, but that is not the case now. In order to get back into the groove, they have partnered with Nokia to enter the mobile phone market.

Collaboration can create commercial success, innovation, synergies, and efficiencies.

What change?

The amount of information generated now is vastly more than has ever been collected in the past. It is beyond our imagination.

How has library work changed? We still manage collections and access to information, but the way we do so has evolved with the ways information is delivered. We have had to increase our negotiation skills as every transaction is uniquely based on our customer profile. We have also needed to reorganize our structures and workflows to meet changing needs of our institutions and the information environment.

Deloitte identified ten key challenges faced by higher education: funding (public, endowment, and tuition), rivalry (competing globally for the best students), setting priorities (appropriate use of resources), technology (infrastructure & training), infrastructure (classroom design, offices), links to outcomes (graduation to employment), attracting talent (and retaining them), sustainability (practicing what we preach), widening access (MOOC, open access), and regulation (under increasing pressure to show how public funding is being used, but also maintaining student data privacy).

Libraries say they have too much stuff on shelves, more of it is available electronically, and it keeps coming. Do we really need to keep both print and digital when there is a growing pressure on space for users?

The British Library Document Supply Centre plays an essential role in delivering physical content on demand, but the demand is falling as more information is available online. And, their IT infrastructure needs modernization.

These concerns sparked conversations that created UK Research Reserve, and the evaluation of print journal usage. Users prefer print for in-depth reading, and HSS still have a high usage of print materials compared to the sciences. At least, that was the case 5-6 years ago when UKRR was created.

Ithaka S+R, JISC, and RLUK sent out a survey to faculty about print journal use, and they found that this is still fairly true. They also discovered that even those who are comfortable with electronic journal collections, they would not be happy to see print collections discarded. There was clearly a demand that some library, if not their own, maintain a collection of hard copies of journals. Libraries don’t have to keep them, but SOMEONE has to.

It is hard to predict research needs in the future, so it is important to preserve content for that future demand, and make sure that you still own it.

UKRR’s initial objectives were to de-duplicate low-use journals and allow their members to release space and realize savings/efficiency, and to preserve research material and provide access for researchers. They also want to achieve cultural change — librarians/academics don’t like to throw away things.

So far, they have examined 60,700 holdings, and of that, only 16% has been retained. They intend to keep at least 3 copies among the membership, so there was a significant amount of overlap in holdings across all of the schools.

custom recipe file for iPhone/iPod

Use your Google Notebook and the free Gnotes app to cull together a custom recipe box on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

I’ve been playing with a iPod Touch from work for the past few weeks. One of the first things I did was dig around for interesting and useful free apps that don’t require constant 3G connections to work effectively. One thing I knew I needed was a functional note-taking tool that would sync the notes with my computer(s), and that’s how I stumbled upon Gnotes.

Basically, this application syncs with your Google Notebook and pulls the text of the notes to the iPod/iPhone. The first thing I did with it was type out the words to some choral pieces I needed to memorize, and after I got comfortable with the interface, I began thinking of other things I could do with it.

One of the apps I first searched for was something to collect, store, and display recipes I wanted to use. There are plenty of free and pay apps for recipe collections, but I didn’t want fifty bajillion recipes to sort through, and I don’t have a wireless router at home, so I needed something that could be used offline. Then it hit me — why not use my Google Notebook for this, too?

It works well, and I have the ingredients list with me for last minute grocery shopping. Here’s how it looks on the iPod Touch:

recipes with Gnotes screen 1recipes with Gnotes screen 2

One down side to this versus using a printout or paper note card is that you can’t see the whole recipe in one screen, so you’ll need to make sure you scroll down far enough to have everything visible you need for that step in the process. You also might want to edit the recipe instructions to include the amount of each ingredient (if it isn’t like that already) within the text, to avoid scrolling up and down each time to check for quantity.

IL2009: Growing & Grown-Up Digital: Next-Gen Speaks

Facilitator: Stephen Abram
Panel: two high-school students, a college student, and the teen services librarian from the local public library

Abrams has asked that folks blogging or tweeting to not use the name of the teen participants, as some are under-age and we should act responsibly when creating a digital trail for them.

First question is about music. The college student likes classical, one high school student still likes vinyl and cassette tapes (no iPod), and the other puts music on her USB stick to take with her (along with her iPod). The college student started with illegal downloads, but gained a respect for the musicians, so now he buys music via iTunes. The iPod-weilding high school student has an iTunes account that she uses sometimes, but mostly shares music with friends. The vinyl student buys the physical medium rather than making copies.

What’s in your bag? Surprisingly, two of them carry USB sticks, which I almost never see with the college students at my library.

Is brand important? Yes, if it’s indicative of the quality, which is more important. (Ugg boots and short-shorts = "the Escaho")

How do you use your phone? Keep in contact with family and friends around the world, mostly via text. One high school student uses her phone mainly to take photos and videos.

"Facebook, Myspace, and phone are good places to keep in touch with people, but Twitter is kind of dead." Ouch — I guess it’s all about where your community exists.

Do you create content? The college student writes music and records it, but hasn’t posted it yet.

Do you expect the same or better standard of living than your parents? Everything seems better/easier now. If we use it the right way, everything will be exponentially easier. There are more options available now for careers, and the internet has opened doors of awareness of what could be. Technology is almost overly-available to us, which can be distracting.

Homework? The college student uses voice recognition software to "write" his papers. He uses Google for most research, but will get a book from the library for "older" material. One high school student uses "homework help now" service from the library for online tutoring. The analog high school student avoids the computer and it’s distractions when doing homework. She also uses interlibrary loan & federated search engines, but doesn’t know them by those names. ("It’s like a bajillion Googles, but for information.")

How do you evaluate information? One tries to find other sources to back up the info. Another starts with using library/school authoritative sources. And the other uses the search limiting tools like peer-review only searches, although, again, she doesn’t know it by that name. She also likes to us Opposing Viewpoints.

Wikipedia? Good for big, broad topics, according to some teachers, but others limit information sources to the textbook only. Some teachers recognize that students use it for overviews of topics, but it’s not good to cite it in a paper.

Are online sources good for finding information about things that you would be uncomfortable to talk about with your parents? It’s easier to talk about things with someone you don’t know. Or go to friends first and then verify with online info. "It’s must be true, it’s on the internet!" isn’t true. There are safe, anonymous places around town where people can talk to each other face-to-face.

Video games? The college student doesn’t play, but his friends do. Neither high school student plays, although they did when they were younger (Nintendo 64, Tekken).

Read online? No, it hurts the eyes after a while, and there are too many other distractions online, too. It’s hard to take notes and highlight online books.

Republican, Democrat, or Independent? They seem to all be the same anymore. There aren’t distinctions. We need to review our system and do a CTRL-ALT-DEL reboot. They are concerned with the impact of the meat industry and oil consumption on the environment, as well as the unequal distribution of wealth around the world.

Teen librarian: There are too many groups of teens with too many interests to connect with all of them, so the focus has been to try to provide a space in the library that they can create for themselves.

How do we overcome the emerging prejudices towards Millenials? The Pew research shows that Millenials and Boomers have a huge overlap in interests and activities. We need to stop thinking of them so much as something strange and different.

reviews update

It’s been a while since I posted an update here of what I’ve been writing over at Blogcritics.org. Between moving and the holidays, I’ve fallen far behind on many things, not to mention writing (or even writing about writing, as the case may be). Here are the handful of recent reviews:

  • Guinness – The 250-Year Quest for the Perfect Pint by Bill Yenne

    Yenne has written an engaging book that is accessible even to the pedestrian beer drinker. His research is thorough, and the bibliography at the end of the book has a few titles that caught my eye as potential future reads. [more]

  • Carole King – Welcome To My Living Room

    The film quality and editing rides the line between a PBS TV concert and a big-screen hyper-reality, with long cuts and minimal camera movement. In the end, it has more of an “I was at a concert” feel than the audio recording from a different show, mainly because of the aforementioned between song banter that was left in the video and removed from the CD. [more]

  • Leiana – No Going Back

    The skatepunk sound found on Leiana’s second full-length, No Going Back, feels as comfortable to me as an old pair of jeans, and I think most of that has to do with the distorted crunch of Chuck Treece’s guitar riffs and the straight-ahead drumming. It’s a little bit retro, while remaining modern and fresh. [more]

  • Macally BTCUP for iPod

    Over the years, I have purchased a variety of FM transmitters in the hopes that they will transfer the sound from my digital devices to my car stereo better than cassette adapters. In general, I have not spent more than $30-40 on these devices, and in the end, I was unsatisfied with them. Recently, I was given the opportunity to test Macally’s BTCUP for iPod, and I was suitably impressed with the device. [more]

phase 2b

I think I got to phase two and then took a left turn.

I think I got to phase two and then took a left turn. Unlike Matthew Inman’s entertaining illustrated phases of owning an iPod, I got over the “shiny new” phase relatively quickly and moved onto “incorporated into my life but not the central focus of it” phase. Even with the release of new and “better” nano models, I’m still happy with my 4 gig version from last year. It holds all the unplayed podcasts (around 34 at the moment) and an essential collection of songs.

I did have to buy a 60 gig portable hard drive because my 60 gig laptop was running out of space for additional music, so there is still a chance I’ll end up at phase seven.