Stephen Francoeur's Commonplace Book

Sep 05

Being Leaderly in Team Environments

Being Leaderly in Team Environments

A recent interview of UX expert Leah Buley by Jared Spool on Spoolcast included an interesting discussion of leadership and collaboration. Buley was expanding on ideas she covers in her book, The User Experience Team of One. In the interview, Buley talks about how it took her a while to get comfortable becoming that person that might get up in a meeting and start drawing on a whiteboard or using…

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Jul 31

Kevin Smith, "Taming a Wild Country," Peer to Peer Review -

Pull quote: “As librarians, the best use of our energy and our resources is to support the development of open educational resources of all kinds in order to make the digital environment a richer, more robust place for students and scholars. We should be what most traditional publishers are not in a position to be—guides through the digital wilderness, of course, but also the homesteaders who will build new structures for digital learning and publishing that simultaneously tame part of that wilderness and use its possibilities and potential to the fullest.”

Jul 15

Meredith Broussard, "Why Poor Schools Can’t Win at Standardized Testing," The Atlantic -

Pull quote: “In the meantime, there are a few things the district—and other flailing school districts in America—can do. Stop giving standardized tests that are inextricably tied to specific sets of books. At the very least, stop using test scores to evaluate teacher performance without providing the items each teacher needs to do his or her job. Most of all, avoid basing an entire education system on materials so costly that big, urban districts can’t afford to buy them.”

Jul 10

Abigail Goben, "My Experience with a LibraryBox," Hedgehog Librarian -

Pull quote: “My primary use for this was my preconference: I was bringing data sets with me that I wanted my preconference attendees to download and use on that day. I have been to too many conferences and watched wifi crash too often to trust that I could rely on the convention center internet, so I loaded everything onto my LibraryBox, which was as simple as plugging the content USB into my laptop and creating a new folder. On that day, my attendees just needed to connect and download.”

Rick Anderson, "Being Essential Is Not Enough, Part 2,"Peer to Peer Review -

Pull quote: “Map your library’s programs and services to the mission of the university and you will be seen as an essential strategic partner, not just another piece of costly infrastructure.”

Avi Wolfman-Arent, "11 University and Library Groups Release Net-Neutrality Principles," Wired Campus - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education -

Pull quote: “Net-neutrality advocates worried then that the new rules, if unchanged, could prove detrimental to cybereducation and research collaboration, among other uses of the Internet.”

Jul 07

Clive Thompson, "How Working on Multiple Screens Can Actually Help You Focus," Gadget Lab | WIRED -

Pull quote: “Now that people have several devices at work—a laptop, a phone, a tablet—they’re finding their way to a similar trick, where they use each piece of hardware for a different purpose. Consider it a new way to manage all the digital demands on our attention: Instead of putting different tasks in different windows, people are starting to put them on different devices.”

Jun 04

Nicole Pagowsky and Erica DeFrain, "Ice Ice Baby: Are Librarian Stereotypes Freezing Us out of Instruction?" In the Library with the Lead Pipe -

Pull quote: “We wanted to examine how student impressions and expectations of instruction librarians impact successful teaching and student learning, and likewise, how faculty impressions of us impact our interactions with faculty and resulting effects in the classroom.”

Merrilee Proffitt, "IMLS meeting, Libraries as Learning Spaces," hangingtogether.org -

Pull quote: “There seems (to me) to be an unreasonable focus on creating learning spaces IN libraries (maker spaces, after school programs, writing programs) when libraries are embedded in communities where there are existing, active and credible examples of all of these already. Why recreate learning spaces in libraries? Why not get libraries and library resources embedded in those other spaces? I think this is particularly true for maker spaces, which require equipment, expertise and space that may not be found in the library.”

May 23

Richard Nurse, "Researching student needs of library search," Libwebrarian's Blog -

Pull quote: “Our overall approach is that we want to work alongside students (something that we’ve done before in our personalisation research) in a model that draws a lot of inspiration from a co-design approach. Instead of building something and then usability testing it with students at the end we want to involve students at a much earlier stage in the process so for example they can help to draw up the functional specification.”

Barbara Fister, "Crossing Thresholds and Learning in Libraries," Library Babel Fish @insidehighered -

Pull quote about threshold concepts: “These concepts, when grasped, so profoundly change the way students think that they are transformative and irreversible. Meyers and Land also believe them to be integrative, yet uniquely tied to a particular discipline. This last characteristic has become troublesome for librarians, since many of us don’t believe the transformative concepts that we want students to grasp are specific to our discipline. The experiences we are most interested in transcend disciplinary knowledge and can be applied to any number of post-graduate experiences in which being able to use information and create knowledge matters.”

Patrick Dunleavy, "Academic citation practices need to be modernized so that all references are digital and lead to full texts," The Impact Blog -

Pull quote: “Referencing should connect readers as far as possible to open access sources, and scholars should in all cases and in every possible way treat the open access versions of texts as the primary source. Versions of the text that depend upon paid access (buying the book, or subscribing to the journal) should be relegated to the status of secondary sources, supplementary information for status-conscious academics (or their promotion committees), but not forming part of the core information about a text.”

Apr 24

Richard Nurse, "Discovery or delivery," Libwebrarian's Blog -

Pull quote: “I found it interesting to work through the process that they went through, from realising that most users were starting their search elsewhere than the library (mainly Google Scholar) and so deciding to focus on making it easier for users to access library content through that route, instead of trying to focus on getting users to come to the library, to a library search tool. It recognises that other players (i.e. the big search engines) may do discovery better than libraries.”

Apr 21

Marc Parry, "As Researchers Turn to Google, Libraries Navigate the Messy World of Discovery Tools," Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education -

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.’”

Apr 08

Junior Tidal, "2014 LACUNY Institute," juniortidal.com -

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.”