A new way to search, sort of like tracing citations only . . . well, try it.
Our members’ libraries each have unique, valuable resources. For the past 15 years, I’ve had the pleasure of discovering many of these rich collections firsthand as part of my work in digital collection management.
One of my favorite collections is the Denison University Herbarium, which contains images of more than 600 plant specimens. A poignant note in the collection description states that the original Herbarium collection was destroyed by fire in 1905 but was restored with donations from professors and naturalists soon after. The digital collection is curated by Andrew C. McCall, Assistant Professor of Biology, and preserves access to these plants for future study and makes them accessible beyond the four walls of the library. It is a great example of engaging faculty using digital collections, preserving physical collections with digitization and bringing hidden collections into view.
My passion is to grow the number and usage of unique digital collections like the Herbarium. Each collection has a “back story” and usually an engaged curator. As each new, unique collection comes online, a piece of our shared knowledge becomes visible to a new generation of learners and scholars. Bringing these collections online gives voice to information that otherwise would be muted in our web-based world of information.
Once you’ve made these collections visible, how can they be woven into the fabric of our universities and communities to support teaching and learning? Here are three ways you can engage and thrill faculty—or just about anyone—with digital collections.1. Sell what you already have
Find connections from your existing digital collections to your institution’s course offerings. Then take them directly to faculty with some ready-made study guides or background. With all of the demands on faculty these days—research grants, classroom duties, publishing requirements—they may not be aware of the rich resources available to them from your digital collections. Do some of the up-front thinking, research and document planning for them. Make it easy for them to incorporate these resources into courses. While you may not have the breadth of collections of the Smithsonian, you can take a page from its book of lesson plans and “idea labs.” Once you have some ideas in place, schedule some time to discuss how they can blend the digital objects into curriculum and lectures. They’ll be thrilled with the added impact these digital objects will have with students and searchers.
2. Bring your services to the source
You are well-versed in digital content creation. You also have skills in metadata development, publishing and copyright. Let faculty and community leaders know you can work with them to build collections that support their research. In addition, you can also work with their students to set up some class exercises or research assignments. Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) has done this with their Center for Digital Scholarship. Library leaders created a digital scholarship fund to encourage innovative research and collaborative learning as well as to develop digital collections that advance teaching and learning. To date, this fund has been used by faculty and students to build more than 80 collections. And the goodwill and excitement the fund has created with the university community may be as valuable as the collections.
Engage with faculty to create new opportunities for your digital collections.
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3. Make it about information literacy
It’s no understatement to say that the universe of information available today is overwhelming. And with the recent publicity surrounding “fake news,” it’s more important than ever to build students’ skills in information literacy. With a focus on the new Framework for Information Literacy from the Association of College & Research Libraries and your digital collections, you can engage faculty to help students build research skills and identify authoritative, original content.There’s something about being unique
The first five or ten results in Google are going to connect to information that everyone has access to. Those answers may be fine for most everyday uses. But scholarship and knowledge work require the ability to find, assess and leverage unusual, specific and unique content—like your digital collections.
For many years, libraries have done a great job digitizing unique resources and making them accessible via the web to support learning, research and scholarship. Engaging with faculty creates new opportunities for digital collections and builds a new generation of experienced researchers.
The post Three ways to engage your faculty using digital collections appeared first on OCLC Next.
Hopefully, last Thursday, you weren’t hiding under a rock, because a major news story broke about a serious internet security threat. Dubbed “Cloudbleed,” experts deem it to be as huge as the 2014 Heartbleed bug. Cloudbleed is so named because it originates from Cloudflare, the security company behind some of the largest websites on the net: Uber, Fitbit, Medium and Yelp, for starters (full list here).
The good news? Once it was found, it was patched pretty quickly, and experts believe it may not have been widely exploited while it was out in the wild. The bad news? This leak may have been going on from as early as September 2016. How much user information is now online is debatable, and experts aren’t even agreeing on whether or not you should change your passwords (our take? Yeah, you should; it can’t hurt).
From the Ohio Web Library:
(Featured image from https://medium.com/@octal/cloudbleed-how-to-deal-with-it-150e907fd165#.f755e9sqp)
Milo Yiannopoulos's fall was abrupt. Is there a tipping point for outrageous behavior?
That phrase is probably the best-known quote of Alfred Korzybski, the famous Polish-American semantic scholar. He was making the seemingly obvious point that the words we use to describe something are not the thing itself. Nor does a description change the thing itself. Why does this matter? Well, the more layers of abstraction we put between ourselves and actual things, the harder it becomes to relate them back to the “nonverbal domain” as he called it. We can fall down a rabbit hole of concepts and constructs that, while interesting, may not be, well…useful.
That’s why, as we’ve spread the word about our “Digital Visitors and Residents” work, I’ve been gratified to see librarians and institutions look at our tools not as clever metaphors or abstractions. Instead, they are using them in a variety of ways to make real, valuable changes in how they interact with their library users and potential users at the point-of-need.
In short, as long as you look up from the map often to take in your surroundings, it can function as a useful guide rather than an intellectual exercise.Direction over location
First, in case you’re not familiar with our work, here’s the shortest version ever of what we mean by “Visitors and Residents:”
A bit longer explanation can be found here.
Why is this important? Because people in different learning communities may use the same tools very differently depending on the need and situation. And if you’re setting up a “residential” service for people who really want only to anonymously get the necessary data, you won’t satisfy their needs.
Map the route your library’s users take to get from questions to answers.
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With the variety of services available online—and the different types of users out there—how do you even know where to start?
That’s why we put together the Visitors and Residents App. It gives people an easy tool to start mapping their online behaviors and can help them realize how they engage with and use online technologies and information. The app also has been used by librarians to identify users’ and potential users’ preferred online behaviors from their personal perspective.
The information you’ll get from this tool isn’t meant to be definitive. But it can be very helpful directionally. If, for example, an academic library finds that most of its faculty is using a group discussion tool (nominally a “resident” service) only to post and find links (“visitor” behavior), then they may want to rethink how the tool is positioned.
I’ve been surprised—and delighted—at how much fun people have had with this simple concept and the online app.
But what if you want to go further and build a more detailed map?Local research, better detail
Several institutions decided to partner with OCLC Research on user behavior studies. I’ve worked with researchers and librarians at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan to conduct semi-structured interviews with undergraduate and graduate students and faculty. These institutions were eager to put in more time to get more granular about how different types of users and potential users engage with technology and how well (or badly) library services fit into their workflows.
At the Università Cattolica, for example, we found that:
Please note: while these results may be interesting to all readers, they are localized! Your results will vary!Next steps
What’s important is to do something. For your library, that may be as easy as using our app with some faculty and students. At the Università Cattolica, the study was led by practitioner librarians—not trained information scientists. OCLC staff provided some training and guidance. And the Barcelona and Madrid studies were conducted by information science researchers. Different levels of detail for different institutions—and that’s just fine.
The point is: you don’t need to hire an outside consultant or survey bureau. Identify what you already know and what you want to know, and start asking questions. And be sure to let us know what you find out!
The post Visitors and residents: different roads, different maps appeared first on OCLC Next.
As far back as 1914, AT&T was looking at ways to use power lines for telecommunications. About ninety years later, there was a flurry of research and policy activity around broadband over power lines (BPL), but technical incompatibilities between electrical “noise” and broadband signals on the same wire were never resolved. Then last September, AT&T announced that they were developing a new type of broadband over power lines that uses the outside of the line to transmit wireless signals, rather than using the inside of the line. Called Project AirGig, AT&T has just announced that they are ready to start testing the technology. If the price demanded by the power companies for use of their lines is cheaper than the cost of building fiber to remote areas, AirGig may be able to provide high-speed internet just about everywhere.
Articles from Ohio Web Library:
From Truthiness to #DayofFacts
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