Learning 2.0 Outside of Libraries?

Michael Stephens posted part of a proposal to measure the effect of Learning 2.0 in Libraries and I wish him the best of luck.  Since the program began with Helene Blowers in 2006 it has been adopted by close to 1000 organizations worldwide proving that it is clearly a success in the library world. Why should we stop there?

Libraries are not the only groups that are struggling to understand the effect of Web 2.0.  The structure of Learning 2.0 provides the space for people to learn at their own pace and join a community of learners.  Why not open this opportunity to a larger community?  Librarians could lead the way in educating their communities about these tools.  For academic libraries, workshops centered around Learning 2.0 could be a valuable service for faculty or students.  Public libraries could extend this to the general public or specific communities like small businesses.

Has any library used Learning 2.0 as an outreach tool?  I would love to know.


Thing 30: More Ways to Use RSS and Delicious

Playing with Delicious and RSS feeds was really fun!  I have used Bloglines for several years as my feed reader but them I explored Netvibes and fell in love.   The way that it displays feeds is much easier to read for me and it can incorporate more than just RSS.  These new tools will make it even more powerful.

For example, The RSS filtering tools were also very helpful in narrowing a feed so that it is most relevant to the reader.  I used FilterMyRSS to restrict a feed from general science to biology and inserted it into a Netvibes box for the Biology Department

The RSS to email applications are very helpful as well.  The Net Generation may not use email much anymore but everyone else does.  This is a way to help everyone benefit from the convenience and flexibility of RSS even if they do not want to use a reader like Google Reader or Bloglines.  I used FeedMyInbox to send an email to myself about any items that were tagged Web2.0 in delicious.

My delicious link roll should be visible to the right under the title New Web Finds.

Academic Shortcuts and Profitable Plagiarism

Your institution uses software services like Turnitin.com so you can rest assured that student cheating will be caught, right?

Not so, says Thomas Bartlett of the Chronicle of Higher Education in an article on March 20, 2009. While many professors are aware of different services that help students write their papers for them, they may not be aware that it is a profitable and global industry they are up against.

These companies called essay mills write custom papers for students who pay per-page, and avoid software like Turnitin because the essays are original works; they just aren’t created by the student. The Chronicle tracked one of these companies, Best Essays, from Virginia to Ukraine to the Philippines, back to the US.
John Gordon of Future Tense interviewed Bartlett about the story on March 27 and it is well-worth the four minutes to listen.

What is a professor to do?  Solutions using technology can help but as Bartlett concludes, having a relationship with the student and their work is still the best deterrent.

Relevant User Guides in a Web 2.0 World

This post is a summary of a presentation given by two Information Literacy Librarians from Wartburg College, Kimberly Babcock Mashek and Kari Weaver,  at the Library Technology Conference on March 19, 2009.  They compare different user guide models and present best practices to make them more interactive and effective. 

The main points of the presentation are to:

  1. Understand what your users want
  2. Understand what resources you have available
  3. Choose the most appropriate resources according to points 1 & 2.
  4. Continue to evaluate and maintain your services.
  5. Share their experience and successes at Wartburg College

Brief History of User Guides

Pathfinders or Static Web Pages


  • Don’t know if people are using them
  • No standardization
  • Users don’t understand library jargon

Why user guides?

  • Enhances Info Lit Instruction
  • Virtual Access
  • Model proper research behavior

What is expected?

  • Be specific
    • by class or assignment
  • Allow customization
    • what are primary databases in their field
  • Need to be current
    • link checking (can pay or have student workers do it)
  • Want sophisticated search but not have to struggle to use it
  • Easy to find library Web page
  • Familiarity/comfort with interface
    • use Wikipedia platform (MediaWiki)
  • Explanation of resources and context
  • Minimal clicks
  • No library jargon
    • research help
  • Anytime, anywhere convenient

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Google Apps for Libraries

David Collins, Associate Director for Public Services in Library, and Barron Koralesky, Associate Director for Information Technology Services, Macalester College  

Using a mix of demonstration, hands-on experience and conversation, participants will dig deeper into Google and Google Apps.   You may want to bring your lab coat.  Macalester has been using Google Apps for nearly a year, and will share some experiences as well as ways we have been integrating / leveraging Google into the day-to-day life of our library and institution.  We want to know how others are using Google, and hope to develop a shared “best practices” project as one outcome of this session.

Important that Library and IT collaborate

3 sections – Presentation, Hands-on, Group Reports

Had year long exploration of email.

  • Found and picked Google
  • Soon after had massive power outage condensing transition to a couple of weeks.
  • What happens if you go to Google?
    • seperated security and privacy
    • Google does security well (much larger resources)
    • Privacy
      • Assumption – everything sent by email is not private

Education account does not have Reader, Groups, and ?.

What it has changed in Campus

  • more open environment – perpetual beta
  • new things appear and don’t know about it until after the fact.
    • traditional IT prefers limited controlled support of applications.

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Next Generation Library Catalogs

Eric Lease Morgan, Head of Digital Access and Information Architecture Department at the University Libraries of Notre Dame            

This is a link to an outline of his idea for next generation library catalogs on the ND library website originally composed in 2006 and updated in 2007. A more recent and shorter version is available on his website, Infomotions.

He asked about what people want to learn and addressed whether he will be able to do that.

Initial Questions

  • What is the Catalog?
  • What does it Contain?
  • What functionality do you expect from it
  • What problem is it expected to solve?

What is the Catalog?

Concept of Index

  • list of words as a pointer
  • he advocates that catalog is type of index
  • index is finding tool, database is organization of information
    • Google is index, URL’s are the pointers

1995 collecting eletronic journals

  • created an 856 subfield u and people said you can’t do that.
  • expanded from ownership to licensed material, and where to find other items.
  • Catalog more of a finding aid.

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Using CONTENTdm in a Consortium

Ann Kenne, Head of Special Collections, University of St. Thomas; Denise Tyburski, Media Services Librarian, and Chris Schommer, Digital and Special Projects, Macalester College    

In this session, staff from CLIC will discuss the decision process to purchase ContentDM for our digital collections and how the consortia agreed to divide costs and collections.  We will also discuss customization of the site and give examples of how workflow is set up at some institutions.
Project Timeline

  • CLIC Consortium started the digital projects search in January 2005
  • September 2005 – Created community of interest in Digitization
  • Fall 2005 – spring 2007 – Study of various software options

Why Contentdm was chosen

  • others already using it – St Kates, MN dl, U of M, Carleton, St Olaf
  • flexible pricing structure
  • good out of box but allows customizatoin
  • training from MINITEX
  • good documentation


  • Not good with Macs – interface
  • Lack of presentation tools


  • June 2007 Level 1 license – 10000 digital objects
  • Oct 2007 Upgraded license to Lvl 2 – 40000 objects  from Mac funds
  • June 2008  Upgrade to unlimited license (with all of CLIC)

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