Thursday, June 19, 2008

Back to LOEX of the West 2008....

The next session I went to was called a Pecha Kucha. It was three different presenters with about10 minutes each on the same topic and was called A MUVing Experience: Three Perspectives on the Curricular Integration of Second Life. The presenters were Colleen Carmean - Director, Information Technology Services, Arizona State University, Sandra Ley - Instruction Librarian, Arizona State University, and Lisa Kammerlocher - Librarian, Arizona State University. All of the presenters discussed their experience as instructors using Second Life to teach their courses. Most of the students responses to the experience were positive.

The next day I went to a great session given by Jerremie Clyde- Liaison Librarian, University of Calgary and Chris Thomas - Liaison Librarian,University of Calgary entitled Benevolent Blue: Playing with Information Literacy. This was the best session I went to because it actually included a virtual game that the presenters are creating that we the audience actively played on the computers. The game addressed information literacy in a very political theme with violence and adventure.

The interactivity and then short survey of our experience really made this session worthwhile and interesting because, remember, I was looking for ways to make my classes engaging. Here I found it but it still wasn't an easy answer. It wasn't just the game they had made, it was the combination of their case study type presentation, along with the hands on experience and the short survey questions they gave us that made the whole session more energetic. We were all participating and exchanging information, audience and presenters. Now that is a class. Their project is still in beta and they did ask us to email them if we wished to be included in the future in the testing before the game goes public.

I really went the opposite way with the next session I chose because it was a discussion of information literacy competencies. I went from hands-on with game to discussion of the information literacy theory. I felt like I was playing the game where someone hides something and they tell you when you are hot or cool as you get closer to what you are looking for. I was cool to almost cold.

Cold was a good way to be in the hot dessert city of Las Vegas. I took a tour of the beautiful LIED Library to see what a ultra-modern library has to offer. It didn't disappoint me with its automated retrieval (space saving) system and comfort in the interior of wood and steel. I loved this library and actually took a lot of pictures to help me with our library's space assessment team that I am a member of.

I never found the perfect game to use in my instruction sessions so I will just have to make up my own game. But I guess now I know what parts of a session make it engaging for me and that games do make you think, which is better than watching someone blather on sans active participation. Yeah for games, LOEX of the West and for Vegas!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

LOEX of the West 2008 in fabulous Las Vegas

After a little more than a week of being back from the LOEX of the West 2008 conference at the fabulous UNLV, Las Vegas, I have had some time to think about and summarize my experience. Just like I went there hoping for easy wins, I also went thinking I would get some easy answers to my ongoing search for adding engaging activities or games into my library instruction courses that I teach here at Alkek. On both counts I was wrong. As far as winning, I did come out ahead, but only thanks to the awesome roulette and blackjack lessons that we were given at the LOEX reception which took place at UNLV's International Gaming Institute in the Casino Lab. As far as getting quick and easy ideas for games I could use in my instruction sessions, I got ideas to help me think of my own games or tutorials but no easy handouts.

The first Session I attended was A Library of Learning Objects: Teaching Tools to Quickly Tailor Instruction and Meet Class Needs presented by Lori Mardis, Information Librarian, Northwest Missouri State University and Connie Ury, Library Outreach Coordinator, Northwest Missouri State University.

They basically talked about project management and how to think of instruction in smaller parts that you could piece together later for fast complete sessions. They use flash tutorials made by student interns. The tutorials allowed for multiple learning styles to be addressed as well as quick ways to customize instruction sessions. The tutorials could also be used outside of the classroom accessible via the web.

Beating the Odds with the Insider's Scoop: Tips and Tricks from the Library Secrets! Librarian

presented by Jennifer Kelley, Resident Librarian, College of DuPage was a case study of Kelly's implementation of Web2.0 tools, including a blog, and other marketing techniques to increase student awareness of the library and all it had to offer.

I was happy that our library is already doing this as well as engaging in other Web2.0 activities. We have a delicious site, Facebook group, MySpace page, Flickr account and have a YouTube Channel where we post our tutorials and other vidoes. We use instant messaging for reference questions and have two blogs, the Alkek Library News & Research Help Blog and our Information Literacy Blog that you are reading right now! Needless to say, we are very into Web2.0. In fact, three of the librarians here at Alkek, including me, just presented a staff development workshop entitled Web 2.0: What is it and Why Should I Care?

More about LOEX in the next post...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Better Late than Never: Summary of Computers in Libraries 2008

Here is my long overdue but hopefully useful summary of the Computers in Libraries 2008 conference in Washington D.C. Overall, I found this conference to be cutting edge and very applicable to our library and instruction team's activities. I have included many links to open source software and to the presenters' information.

1. Monday - Session: Going Local in the Library: Web 2.0, Library 2.0, Local 2.0Link to slideshow:
Presented by Charles Lyons, Business Librarian, University at Buffalo

Internet is not as local as you might think. Local web is the joining of the virtual world and the real world. It is about the community you live in and you and your library are a part of it. Ways to advertise library in local virtual world.

Local Search Engines allow you to create more of sense of community in the virtual world:
Many more local search engines on C. Lyons slideshow, ,slide # 13.

2. Monday - Session
: Library Web Presence: Engaging the Audience

Presented by Ellysa Stern Cahoy, Information Literacy Librarian,
Pennsylvania State University, Emily Rimland, Information Literacy
Librarian, Pennsylvania State University, Binky Lush, Web Developer,
Pennsylvania State University, Kristina DeVoe, English &
Communications Librarian, Temple University, Derik Badman, Digital Services Librarian,
Temple University

They talked about tools to improve web services and make them
more 2.0 or interactive. Using customizable widgets to make library
services more portable and allow users to put library created widget
anywhere they want.

Librarians did this at Penn State: Made downloadable widgets to
search library catalog, search research guides, and for library
quick links. Very cool!

They used: Widgetbox
lets you make your own widgets!

Librarians at Temple University purchased LibGuides. Link
to their slideshow:
Customizable research guide pages with interactive functions.
Research or subject guides can be connected by the tabs with course
guides or class outlines be connected with Example:

  • Has meebo chat window

  • Calendar for apts on research

  • Uses tabs

  • Uses RSS for up to date news
    and research articles from popular subject journals

  • Can add polls

  • Users can rate the guide

  • Users can comment on content or
    co-edit, “community building”, conversation from
    university community. This gives chance for faculty collaboration

  • Can imbed video

  • Search boxes directly on page
    for faster searching

Other tools like LibGuides and in addition to are:

  1. Monday - Session: Fast and Easy site
    by Jeff Wisniewski, Web Services Librarian, University
    of Pittsburgh

  • Update copyright date

  • Add photos to contacts/names

  • Replace instances of “click
    here” with the real content. “Click here for
    current articles” should be “Current articles are
    available here.”

  • Create and read microformats.
    Firefox has an add-on called tails Or Operator

  • Both let you connect with the semantic web. Allows you to collect electronic
    business cards and connect with other websites like Flickr or Google
    Calender. For more info about Microformats go to

Use 3 question surveys:

1.What is purpose of your visit to our site today?
2. Were you able to complete your task today?
3. If not, why?
4. Ask for their email address.
  • Add forward slash to href
    directory links (?)

4. Monday - Session Learning Commons: The “In” in the CIL
presented by Tom Impri, Head of Media & Computer Services,
University of Nevada at Las Vegas

link to slideshow:

  • 2nd Life is compliment to physical space
  • More Laptops!
  • Group Study Rooms
  • Movable furniture
  • Rich application suite (Open Source?)
  • White Boards
  • Smart Boards
  • Multi-media production editing
  • Vending machines
  • Practice presentation room
  • Students define the space
  • Variety of spaces (indoor, outdoor, cafe)
  • Comfort
  • Engaging environment
  • Human centered design
  • De-centered-ness
  • Positive emotional experience leads to better learning!
Other important ideas to keep in mind:
  • Active construction of knowledge by the learner - Constructivist/Cognitive theorists
  • GROUP WORK - sharing and learning from each other
  • Space facilitates or hinders learning
  • They leave if not comfortable
  • Need seamless work environments
    • access
    • manage
    • produce info
    • all @ same workstation

Check out The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students
and Information Technology, (Sept) 2007

5. Tuesday - Session: Mashups for the Nontechies by Jody Fagan, Digital
Services Librarian, James Madison University
slideshow link
  • FURL – social bookmarking site like delicious where you can also create a feed of your bookmarked sites so others can subscribe to your feed and stay up-to-date with your bookmarks.

6. Tuesday - Session: The Library Sandbox: Testing Innovative Ideas by Barbara Tierney, Science Reference Librarian,University of North Carolina

She basically read from her book

Transforming Library Service Through Information Commons :Case Studies for the Digital Age, D.

Russell Bailey and Barbara Gunter Tierney, ALA Editions

Academic, public, and school librarians who
are considering an IC or are looking for ways to improve their IC will find a
wealth of information here. More

Case Studies she mentioned:
  • NCSU
  • EmoryUniversity
  • Temple University
  • 20 case studies are listed in the book.

Points to keep in mind when planning a learning commons:

  • Substance over space (?)
  • Learning commons as classroom – this is a very simple view, I think
  • IL as program
  • Evolution from users needs creates tech changes
  • Study spaces into LC conductive to group work, coffee shops, comfort, modular furnishings

(I really like this idea, point)

7. Tuesday - Session: Libraries as Laboratories for Innovation by Matt Gullett, Emerging Technology Manager, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County

8. Tuesday - Session: Video, You Tube, & Libraries by Karen McBride, Web services
librarian, Des Plaines Public Library and Nick Baker, Reference & Web services
librarian, Williams College Libraries

Basically they presented how to do simple screencasting and upload to youTube. Pretty simple

I find the fuzzyness of UTube videos for displaying screenshots
of the library’s website unacceptable.

9. Wednesday - Session: ELearning: IL Instruction & Out-of-the-Box Software by Robert Monge, University of South Dakota; Steve Borrelli, Washington State University; Julie Cavender, Jones Knowledge e-Global Library

Publish in flash or HTML

Software for creating tutorials Free or up to $6000 :

Books they discussed:

Wednesday - Session: Open Source Solutions to Offer Superior Service by Amy De Groff, Head of Library Technology Services, Howard County Public Library, Ching-hsien Wang, Manager, Library & Archives System Support, Smithsonian Institution, George Bowman, System Adminstrator, Smithosnian Insitution Resea, Smithsonian Institution, Eric Atkinson, Information Systems Department Head, Orange County Library System, Kimberly Babcock Mashek, Information Literacy Librarian, Wartburg College

Link to slideshow

· Open

· Google Docs

· Opera Desk Now

· Joomia

· Koha


· SIRIS Image server

· SOLR Interface Application

11. Wednesday - Session: Integrating Second Life (SL): Courses & Collections
Craig Anderson, Reference Librarian, Kean University, Krista Godfrey, Liaison Librarian, McMaster University, Troy Swanson, Teaching & Learning Librarian, Moraine Valley Community College, Larry Sloma, Adjunct Librarian, Moraine Valley Community College

  • Integrating
  • Second Life & Google Maps
  • One of them says 3D exhibit is not easy to design
  • For exhibit – intro area is good to orient people that are new to SL
  • Computer on a desk that can link to gallery webpage

POST-CONFERENCE Session: Screencasting 101: Creating Online Tutorials in Less than 30 minutes by Greg R. Notess

Online tutorials are better for many reasons:
  • self-paced
  • video and audio make it interesting
Points Notess made:
  • Should not record full screen - don't need to see what other programs you were running when you filmed
  • smaller screen size better (640X480)
  • to produce video choose Adobe Flash - get more flexibility and features in this format - Flash is streaming format/larger audience acceptance
  • Sometimes it is more efficient to redo entire tutorial rather than edit
  • can get statistics
  • save as a file to server
  • can link sttraight to .swf file and it will play
  • embed video in a web page (Video code embed generator )
  • make tutorials for databases that have little tips that need to be explained
  • Could use dreamweaver to imbed flash or other video file format
  • don't go full screen
  • don't start off talking a lot - no long intro - boring
  • Could use music trac too - then use call outs or bubbles
Some software Notess talked about: