Pull quote: “Mr. Asher is familiar with the criticisms of Google Scholar. After all, his own study listed them: ‘limited advanced search functionality, incomplete or inaccurate metadata, inflated citation counts, lack of usage statistics, and inconsistent coverage across disciplines.’ Perhaps for this reason, he sounded a bit sheepish admitting his preference. ‘I kind of hate to say it, since I am a librarian,’ he says. ‘We pay a lot of money for discovery tools. And then I go off and just use Google Scholar.’”

Pull quote: “This then got me thinking about how database interfaces are just plain awful. They are not intuitive. I like to think that if they were, then we wouldn’t need to have classes on how to use them in the first place. Secondly, databases may not necessarily engage the user in a meaningful way. Look at Wikipedia for instance. Wikipedia links its pages back and forth throughout the site. If there is a term that a user sees on a Wikipedia page, 9 times out 10, a user can gain more information about that term and read about it. I feel there are very few resources that allow one to do that. I also feel that the database pages are so overwhelming. There are numerous fields, check mark boxes, and jargon labels that it can be a bit much for an incoming freshman who’s experience with online research may just be Google.com. What’s the solution? Already, it seems that APIs may be the best way to go. If there’s a coder who can construct a better interface, or even better yet, tailor it to a particular audience, then we don’t need the boring, overwhelming front-end of x database. I’ve also seen more databases, APIs and discovery services that are using the one search box form of interface that students who have grown with the Internet are accustom to.”

Pull quote: “Dear [Name]: Thank you for sending the publishing agreement for Johns Hopkins University Press and portal. I’m very pleased to see that I will retain the right to post a copy of the article on my personal or institutional repository or online site. Retaining the copyright to my professional work is also important to me, so I’m wondering if there is an alternate agreement, or if the current agreement can be altered, so that I retain the copyright but the Press still has the ability to do what it needs to do with the content. If not, the current agreement is fine and I will happily sign, [etc.]. But if an alternate agreement is possible, I would prefer to pursue that option. Sincerely, etc.”

Pull quote: “Why do some libraries insist on developing website content that is not being used? There’s no doubt it would be great if library users came to our sites to read book reviews, listen to podcasts, and calculate the value that the library delivers to them. We want to be a valuable resource. We want people to trust our opinions and rely on us for guidance. But just because this would be wonderful doesn’t mean it is going to happen.”

Pull quote: “Lots of people espouse an attitude of, ‘it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.’ I’m not saying you should never do this, but I don’t recommend doing it at the beginning of your career (or during early days of a new job), and you should only do it sparingly if you are later in your career or in your tenure at a particular institution. Do this early on or too much, people will think they can’t trust you.”

Pull quote: “Ultimately, I decided that the walkabout project should take the form of a low-stress observational UX method for collecting supplementary user data. With the deliverable conceived as a running log of observations/insights, team members could then draw upon them to generate new ideas or buttress findings in their reports. Eventually compiling data from our raw field notes into a table, we could build a “library persona”, available as a poster or other visualization, to be used as a tool to ensure the consideration of the diverse and intersecting paths of users interacting with the library as it develops new user-centered services.”

Pull quote: “No, information literacy is about negotiating understanding within a context. It means being able to map out the community of inquiry and the various conversations that community is having. And then, it means being able to show that community where new knowledge fits. Parroting back other people’s conversations is not an effective conversation tactic in real life, right, so why should it work here? This is where you get to expand the conversation in very real terms. But even this mapping is not yet enough. It helps us see the social and relational aspect of information literacy, but it doesn’t highlight the very real importance of the local culture of these conversations.”

Pull quote: “But there was precious little on analyzing count data. And in librarianship, there is a lot of data that are simply counts — reference questions, book use, journal use, citations, attendees at workshops, Twitter posts, students who graduate or stay in school or dropout. And these are not distributed normally. This data is severely skewed, usually to the right (think “long tail”). And the variance (standard deviation) is much greater than the mean – that’s because of the long tail, all those very high counts. How the heck are you supposed to analyze that?”

Pull quote: “It is very unlikely that a new platform will happen more quickly and time is of the essence here because other organizations (OCLC, Ex Libris) do have LSP’s available that can be delivered and put into operation today. However, with Innovative/Polaris being combined, their first goal will be to merge operations, company cultures, customer services and sales. That involves some serious organizational disruption, overhead and thus time. Once that is achieved, they’ll start a more serious effort at combining the product plans. Customers of either company that believe their products of today will live on indefinitely are probably dreaming. Company mergers like this are ultimately dependent on re-consolidating the company offerings to one main product offering at some point in the not too distant future.”

Stephen Francoeur’s Commonplace Book turned 6 today!

Stephen Francoeur’s Commonplace Book turned 6 today!

(Source: assets)

Pull quote: “What’s become even more apparent to me is that everything that is online/linked to from the library website is considered the website. I’d guess that about 1/3 to 1/2 of the comments so far have actually been about problems that are not the website but the OPAC, the discovery layer, our databases or the link resolver.”

Pull quote: “These data indicate that for the period between October 2012 and March 2013, our trigger-initiated chats are more reference and research related than are our patron-initiated chats; while our patron-initiated chats are more direction oriented. Clearly, for us, the initiation of a business model with trigger-initiated chat reached students online with complex research questions, who might not have otherwise known where to go for help.”

Pull quote: “If we want to share information without donating our online reputation to the information’s owner, we can use donotlink.com to generate a link that does not improve their search engine ranking. If we want to go a step further, we can link to a cached version of the page or share a screenshot.”

Pull quote: “Whilst looking for a better answer I discovered Green Turtle – a JavaScript library for working with RDFa and most usefully packaged in an extention [sic] for the Chrome browser. Load this into your copy of Chrome and it will sit quietly in the background checking for RDFa (and microdata if you turn on the option) in the pages you are viewing. When it finds one, a green turtle icon appears in the address bar. Clicking on that turtle opens up a new tab to show you a list of the data, in the form of triples, that it identified within the page. That simple way to easily show someone the data embedded in a page, is a great aid to understanding for those new to the concept.”

Pull quote: “Maybe it’s not enough for us to just provide access to books. Perhaps libraries should work together and create or our own circuit of events to help maintain and grow a reading and writing culture and connect it to the already thriving participatory culture on the internet. We organize wonderful conferences for each other in the profession. Perhaps we should host conferences for our own communities.”