Posted by emmakimberley on 5 January, 2011
On Monday 13th Dec Terese Bird and I paid a visit to the British Library to take part in an assessment session for the Growing Knowledge exhibition. The purpose of the Growing Knowledge exhibition is to showcase ‘innovative research tools’ to researchers. The exhibition space itself provides a futuristic space for experimenting with new technologies. Attractions include a tweet-o-meter, computers with 2, 3 and 4 screens as well as a touch screen, and a Microsoft Surface. The idea is to evaluate how researchers are working in different ways: we’re doing more things at once, so do we need more screens to support the multi-faceted nature of research work?
The exhibition room
As part of the evaluation we were let loose to play with the research tools on this range of devices. Terese Bird and I used the touch screen computer to look at some of the academic initiatives online, including the Allen Brain Atlas, Semantic Web Applications in Neuromedicine, Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts and the Journal of Visualized experiments. Each of these shows ways in which the web is being used by scholars in diverse fields for research, collaboration, visualisation and dissemination.
Terese has identified the Microsoft Audio Video Indexing System (MAVIS – a software system using speech recognition technology to allow searches of audio and video files) and the Galaxy Zoo as her stand-out tools in her blog post about the day. Both of these tools facilitate research that would be arduous or even impossible without them. My own favourites were the Journal of Visualised experiments and the eDance project.
JoVE leads the move toward making the communication of research more visual by presenting research methods in video format, thus “allowing the intricacies of new methods to be demonstrated far more effectively than is possible in text.” This is the kind of knowledge that really benefits from being shared in non-written media.
The eDance project has developed tools for collaboration between performance and practice-led research in dance, enabling researchers to chart movements in three dimensions. While I didn’t have time to gain a full understanding of how these technologies can be used, they seem symbolic of a shift in ways of thinking when it comes to research in the Arts. The idea that description and comment can happen on the artwork itself, rather than as a separate piece of writing, surely has implications for research into any kind of visual or moving-image text.
My favourite piece of hardware was the Microsoft Surface, which displayed a digital version of the 19th century Garibaldi Panorama – the world’s longest painting – and shows how the challenges of viewing and collaborating on such an artefact can be overcome.
Microsoft Surface Table
As a whole, the exhibition raises questions about the role of libraries in storing and curating digital heritage and in supporting new academic behaviours, some of which are discussed in the podcast of the British Library debate: Is the physical Library a redundant resource?
Posted in Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: library 2.0, research, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | 1 Comment »
Posted by selinalock on 14 May, 2010
Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House. Photo by Matt_Fom_London via Flickr Creative Commons.
Gareth had already blogged about this event, but here’s my take on it too.
Theme for the morning: Go to the users, wherever they are online.
Taking your service to scientists: embedding subject-specific resources within VLEs. Jon Fletcher. Nottingham Trent University.
- Talked about embedding library resources & links into the VLE so student “don’t have to remember where to go” to get stuff. Student feedback suggested that they often forget how to use resources between years/terms/f2f sessions.
- University mandate that all courses should have a VLE site.
- Includes links to catalogue, metalib, referencing guidelines, library homepage etc in all science courses.
- 5 step guide to embedding: Consult/design resources using a team approach, get permission/access to VLE course, embed resources, consider sustainability & update when needed.
- Often need to ‘sell’ the resources/need to embed to the academics, but once in a few courses then get a snowball effect due to good student & course team feedback.
- Embeds all his teaching resources as well as core library resources.
- Sustainability: think about time/workload required, timescales and the tools needed. E.g. previous html editor wasn’t up to the job so now uses Wimbacreate. There approach is to use a repository and link all courses to one version of core resources page so easily updated in one place by more than one person.
- Updating: design so it only needs updating once or twice a year.
- This initiative has led to more visibility, embedding of f2f sessions, more liaison with academics and more enquiries.
- Currently a trial and only being done by Science team.
- Just about to start using TalisAspire for reading lists.
- Approx 1-2 weeks of time needed to build resources & embed them.
- Moved subject-based library pages within the VLE and linked out to other types of library pages.
- Stats on what is being accessed via the VLE.
MyLibrary – building a Library dashboard application. Mark Gavillet. University of Newcastle
- Creating a MyLibrary dashboard app using a customisable online tool (JQuery UI). A project which will go live for students to trial in new academic year.
- App draws info from various places e.g. library systems, shibboleth (for authentication, google etc.
- Tracks what resources are being used.
- Wanted to identify 80% of ‘start’ points for 80% of tasks that 80% of users do 80% of the time by asking 130 students where they look for resources.
- Student feedback was that there start points for university work/resources were google, OPAC, reading list, Blackboard VLE, databases, library homepage or student homepage (in that order of preference).
- The first place they go when sitting at a university PC: Uni email, Google, Blackboard, Facebook.
- Key library services: ejournals, renew books, search resources.
- They do not use the library homepage as anything other than a gateway & don’t read library news.
- Happy to use search tools but unsure of finding the right search tools in the first place.
- customer journey mapping of tasks such as finding an article form a reading list showed very convoluted routes to get there! Hope MyLibrary tool will help get them there quicker.
- Can put MyLibrary button in variety of places they use frequently such as Facebook and VLE.
- MyLibrary tool tabs for modules, resources, announcements, eResources/eJournals, MyItems(loans) & more.
- eResources pulled from subject categories on Metalib.
- eJournals via SFX (can search & choose favourites).
- MyItems/MyRecord from Aleph library system & can renew via tool.
- Opening hours & events from Library Google calendars
- TOCs from JISC tic TOCs service.
- GO TO WHERE THE USERS ARE, rather than expecting them to come to the library homepage. If the tool is successful then they will re-evaluate the role of the library homepage.
- Several months work and development.
RSC Publishing beta – Have your say…Richard Blount and Louise Peck, Royal Society of Chemistry
Got a quick overview of the new RSC interface and they are very keen for librarian feedback. Either via their survey or as beta testers. Quick look at ChemSpider, an excellent, free chemical structure resource.
Posted in Digital Strategy & Website, Service Delivery, Subject Support, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: digital, event, librarians, library 2.0, meeting, science, ustlg | Leave a Comment »
Posted by selinalock on 25 January, 2010
Moving Targets: the role of web preservation in supporting sustainable citation (Richard Davis & Kevin Ashley)
This was a rather different talk to most of the others at the event as it was looking more at the question of how we can cite the preserved version of ephemeral type of data, such as blogs, that we often see on the web these days.
Some web preservation already happening: URI/DOI/Handles & other solutions, Wayback machine and UK Webarchive.
Are we educating people to use links to sustainable archives/ Should we be recommending linking to the UK Webarchive version and not the original version?
Used the example of citing a blog post that might disappear.
Will our “collections” look different in future, will they be blog type posts rather than journal articles or books?
Talked about the JISC project ArchivePress which allows you to use a RSS feed to create a preserved blog archive: this will allow Universities to create their own repository of blogs. For example, it could integrate with Research Repositories that use applications like DSpace. Should the Leicester Research archive be looking into preserving research blogs as well as other research outputs?
Heidelberg University and others have created a Citation Repository for transitory web pages: this was specifically to deal with the problem that their researchers were having when researching China, due to the volatile nature of the Chinese internet. There might be rights issues with this approach but many of the original web pages had disappeared.
Should we be teaching people about sustainable resources/publishing as part of our information literacy efforts?
Can argue that citing a URL is like citing the shelfmark of a book in a library, as it’s the location of the information rather than the information itself. Should we be looking for a better citation system?
Possible solutions: Institutions can offer archive mechanisms, authors need to use archive mechanisms, if a blog is being preserved than it needs to expose that permanent citable link for people to use (e.g. ArchivePress link) and permalinks should be a bit more “perm”!
Help me Igor – taking references outside traditional environments (Euan Adie, Nature.com)
Euan gave an overview of some of the projects they are working on as part of the Nature.com remit:
Looked at how referencing might be achieved if you were using GoogleWave as a collaborative tool to write articles etc.
Decided to create a 3rd party GoogleWave widget called Igor.
Igor lets you fetch references from Connotea or PubMed and insert them into the Wave: it does this by typing in a command in Wave.
Igor uses an open API to retrieve data (XML or RDF) and is only a proof of concept widget at the moment. it is OpenSource and people are welcome to develop it further.
Euan did point out that the formats that most reference software uses (RIS/BIBtex) are not very easy to use with web APIs.
Mentioned ScienceBlogs: an initiative to aggregate well known science blogs through Nature.com. E.g. finds if blogs link to Nature articles (via html, DOI, PubMed): blogs already comment on articles when they’re published so Nature wants to link the comments/blog posts to the articles.
Have a API available that allows you to feed in am article DOI and see what blogs aggregated through Nature.com mention that article.
Mobile devices: have made Mac app Papers available on iPhone. thinks people are not as likely to read articles on mobiles but save the reference for later instead.
Nature.com always willing to experiment and collaborate with other projects.
Posted in Collection management, Meetings, Referencing, Technology & Devices, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: blogs, conference, jisc, library 2.0, nature.com, repositories | Leave a Comment »
Posted by gazjjohnson on 10 March, 2009
Some weeks ago a lot of us attended a Digital Library Strategy workshop here in the library, led by Ken Chad. I’ve written about the day, but I’ve just been passed Ken’s slides and the mindmaps from the session.
The mindmap was generated by small groups talking about the challenges, opportunities and issues around each of the 4 areas of discussion. They reflected back on the presentations from Ken and Richard, but also on the experience and insight of the various group members taking part. They’re in no way a comprehensive point of view, and as you can see no ranking order is applied to them. Each one is a comment, idea or concept in its own right.
But these will help the Library in shaping its future Web 2 and digital strategy developments for the next 3 or so years. More about that in the near future…
Posted in Digital Strategy & Website | Tagged: digital library strategy, Digital Strategy & Website, ken chad, library 2.0, mindmaps, website, workshop | 3 Comments »
Posted by selinalock on 3 February, 2009
So, a little delayed but here’s the rest of my Learning Futures Festival write-up:
Keynote 2: Ralp Schroeder (Oxford Internet Institute)
Focused on virtual environments – which he defined as immersive environments that give a sense of being in another place than you are physically in & have visual & spatial aspects.
Argued there are 2 major versions of the technology that are likely to develop further.
1. Video-capture – e.g. video conferencing, talking heads.
2. Computer generated (CAVE technology), which can be programmed to do all sorts of things.
I’m afraid he lost me a bit after this, so I’m not sure how he saw the technology being used in education.
Workshop: Using narrative structure in projects
The most fun I had on the day, as how can I resist playing around with cartoon strips!? This workshop looked at how thinking about narrative structures (e.g. your hero, villain, story arc) can be used as another project management tool. We took a classical fairytale, in our case Red Riding Hood, and introduced novel learning technologies to see what impact they had on the narrative. We gave Red Riding Hood a mobile phone so she could warn Granny about the Big Bad Wolf, granny got the Wood Cutter to build a “hole in the wall” computer & the wolves used this to learn how to clone food so that they didn’t need to attack people!
I’m afraid the title intervention panel had me envisioning us all reassuring one another that we weren’t addicted to web2.0 or something. It was actually more like a round table and general discussion. Points I picked up during the day were:
- Will web2.0 make surface learning worse?
- critical/evaluative skills of learners do not seem to be improving
- Has the fundamental nature of learning changed?
- Need pedagogical push & intelligent technological insights to provide best education e.g. use ebook readers flexibly, use virtual environments to improve on reality.
- Change form students having to search our specialist information to having to trawl through huge tracts of information that were not available in the past.
- Should be prepared to admit when we don’t know something – learn alongside our learners!
- Change in locus – from academics telling/teaching to new generation of learners that want to share what they know. Need a more collaborative learning process?
- New learners are multimodal & multimedia – live in a more immediate environment.
- HE systems are very inflexible compared to the outside world.
- We are all learners & we all have something to offer.
- In HE we still need to challenge students in how they learn as well as what they learn.
Posted in Meetings, Training, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies, Wider profession | Tagged: library 2.0, meeting, teaching, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | 1 Comment »
Posted by sarahw9 on 16 July, 2008
Still fresh from the web 2.0 training day last Thursday a group of web 2.0 enthusiast subject librarians have decided to cultivate an active blog. Yes we want people to take part. UoL Library Blog is intended initially for library staff at the University of Leicester to share news and ideas, but who knows, we may expand.
Back to the web 2 training day, there was lots of positive feedback which is always nice, and a few interesting points:
- Facebook – should we go beyond the ‘corporate’ page approach? Probably not, but how do our personal identities / work identities blend together?
- RSS feed readers: should we be writing this into our training (esp Outlook in Windows 07). I expect you are going to tell me you already do / have.
- Twitter – I am trying to sort out getting Thwirl installed (we need administrator access) – if there are no ‘technical’ hitches.
There will be a follow up session in the Autumn. Any suggestions for things we could include are more than welcome.
Posted in Meetings, Staff training, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: library 2.0, Staff training, Training, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | 2 Comments »