New home

Well, my little blog is growing up. I decided to move away from the free wordpress site to my own. Please join me over at my new home – and be sure to update your feed!

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Mobile Learning Sprint

Last week, Educause offered Mobile Sprint, 5 lunch time webinars over 5 days  on mobile learning. I must admit, I liked the continuing discussion that the 5 days allowed – it was more than just a webinar and it wasn’t as draining as a conference, but it was engaging.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I love back channels during conferences/webinars. It adds an extra layer of discussion and engagement that sitting quietly in a presentation can never offer. The webinars offered a well used chat for participants. Despite the chat, I took my discussion to twitter as I enjoy taking the discussion to a wider audience – can’t make it to the actual webinar, you can still get the highlights on twitter. Edusprint, the hashtag for the webinars, provided for interesting discussion and I believe I had conversations with interest people who were not participating in the audio portion of the talk.

I’m still not sure how mobile learning is going to evolve – many of the issues raised, such as security, are issues for online learning generally. As it stands now, mobile learning seems to be centred on value-added options. I had an interesting conversation about qr codes in the classroom with one twitterer. Purdue is doing some really neat things with apps like Hotseat – a twitter like application for commenting during class. I’d love to try something like that in an info lit session, allow students to make comments and ask questions, appointing one student to monitor and raise appropriate issues for the whole class. On a whole, I think the webinars raised more questions than answers for me but we are in early stages of mobile learning. I’m looking forward to further discussions on mobile learning and I hope Educause continues the ideas of sprints for other topics. You can check out the recorded mobile sprint sessions here.

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Conference roundup

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love conferencing. They are tiring and yet I almost always come back refreshed and excited to try new things. This time I managed to fit in two conferences nearly back to back.

I went to Computers in Libraries first, ever a favorite conference of mine. I presented a cybertour on qr codes, something I hope to do more with in my library in the next little while. The session helped me prepare for a small qr code hunt we created to celebrate my library’s 60th birthday. I find interesting content at CiL but this is a conference in which I really look forward to the informal networking. Having the conference in a central hotel means that it’s easy to run into people and find out what new projects they’re working on. Add in the extra bonus of fire pits, and you can’t go wrong.

ACRL quickly followed CiL. This was my first ACRL conference and I look forward to attending again. I presented with two colleagues, Andrew and Karen, and it seemed to go really well (though found it odd that we had to introduce ourselves). It was great to have an audience from academic libraries. Unlike CiL, I didn’t know too many of the attendees and found the lobby con aspect lacking, though that doesn’t mean there weren’t great networking opportunities. I found the poster sessions particularly good and talked to a number of great people. Others have summed up the conference better than I could, so i’ll leave it to them. I did come away with a number if things though. I’ve learned from past experience that attending sessions that are close to what I do are often less fulfilling, so for the first time I made a concerted effort to attend sessions I wanted to know more about, particularly data issues. This approach certainly made the conference more interesting. I am particularly pleased to see such a great virtual aspect to the conference. Registration provides virtual access to conference material for a year. I now have a dozen papers to read for sessions I couldn’t get to and am looking forward to going over the panel sessions I missed.

The hardest part of conferencing: getting back into the day-to-day again!

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On being thoughtful

I was reading one of Jenica’s recent posts and was struck by one of her comments: “We’d rather be outraged than thoughtful.” While she was speaking to age/generation issues, the truth of this statement rang out, at least to me. As a profession, we are quick to jump on twitter/blogs/other social media and shout about how wronged libraires are. Perhaps if we were more thoughtful, we wouldn’t find ourselves in the constant reactionary positions we seem to be in. If we could position ourselves better, we might not need to rage so much. Sarah points out, in an interesting counterpoint to the recent HarperCollins debacle, we (libraries) are often in a weak negotiating postion – would thoughtfulness help this? I would hope so.

There is a time and place for shouting about libraires;  in fact, it is important to make noise. If we were more thoughtful though, we might find ourselves in better positions to fight for our libraries, and maybe, not lose our voices with the shouting.

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Stealth librarianship or just good librarianship?

I’ve heard about stealth librarianship and the manifesto associated with it. Kendra’s  post over at Library Attack about stealth librarianship got me thinking about it again. I’ve read a few posts on stealth librarianship, including John’s original post and Andrew’s call to ninja librarianship, which has some good modifications to John’s manifesto. I do agree that librarians, especially libraries that promote specific subject expertise, should be involved with and engaged in their subject communities. This is not necessarily new concept (I know it’s something both my colleagues and I practice) – a point Kendra raises quite well (among others).

My question is whether this really needs to be termed as stealth librarianship? Using this term,  it seems more sneaky and underhanded than it needs to be. I don’t think quietly infiltrating is the right answer – and I know this isn’t exactly where the manifesto is going – but then why call it stealth librarianship? There is nothing wrong with proudly representing your profession among those who can value your expertise.

These thoughts may be coming on the heels of the HarperCollins affair – we’re being loud and clear in our dislike with the present circumstances (though again, we seem to be in the reactionary position). Maybe it’s our raised voices that’s making me think negatively about the “stealth” aspect of the manifesto.

Regardless, being involved in our communities – both librarian and user – is the essential thing. And isn’t that just plain good librarianship?

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eBook User’s Bill of Rights

If you haven’t heard, there was lots of talk in the twitter verse and elsewhere this weekend. Ebook talk exploded over the weekend as HarperCollins announced restrictions on the number of uses per ebook for libraries. This could be a dangerous slope, with HarperCollins being the first publisher to limit ebooks in this way. Librarians have been all calling for bans on the publisher. Sarah Houghton-Jan and Andy Woodworth have created the ebook user’s Bill of Rights. A first read through, it seems pretty good.

The eBook User’s Bill of Rights

Every eBook user should have the following rights:

  • the right to use eBooks under guidelines that favor access over proprietary limitations
  • the right to access eBooks on any technological platform, including the hardware and software the user chooses
  • the right to annotate, quote passages, print, and share eBook content within the spirit of fair use and copyright
  • the right of the first-sale doctrine extended to digital content, allowing the eBook owner the right to retain, archive, share, and re-sell purchased eBooks

I believe in the free market of information and ideas.

I believe that authors, writers, and publishers can flourish when their works are readily available on the widest range of media. I believe that authors, writers, and publishers can thrive when readers are given the maximum amount of freedom to access, annotate, and share with other readers, helping this content find new audiences and markets. I believe that eBook purchasers should enjoy the rights of the first-sale doctrine because eBooks are part of the greater cultural cornerstone of literacy, education, and information access.

Digital Rights Management (DRM), like a tariff, acts as a mechanism to inhibit this free exchange of ideas, literature, and information. Likewise, the current licensing arrangements mean that readers never possess ultimate control over their own personal reading material. These are not acceptable conditions for eBooks.

I am a reader. As a customer, I am entitled to be treated with respect and not as a potential criminal. As a consumer, I am entitled to make my own decisions about the eBooks that I buy or borrow.

I am concerned about the future of access to literature and information in eBooks. I ask readers, authors, publishers, retailers, librarians, software developers, and device manufacturers to support these eBook users’ rights.

These rights are yours. Now it is your turn to take a stand. To help spread the word, copy this entire post, add your own comments, remix it, and distribute it to others. Blog it, Tweet it (#ebookrights), Facebook it, email it, and post it on a telephone pole.

To the extent possible under law, the person who associated CC0 with this work has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work

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LibDay6: Day 5

Last day of LibDay6. Hopefully this week has given a glimpse into the types of things I do as an academic librarian. I really do love what I do – I get to work with great students and faculty, I get to teach, I get to play with and keep up with technology and it’s implications for libraries and higher ed. I also hope this week of posting has started to form into a bit of a habit and may result in more activity here. Regardless, here’s my life as a librarian today:

  • A most rare occurrence – I had no meetings today, so I worked from home. My intention was to concentrate on my OLA presentation, but I spent most of the day working on trying to get things together for next week.
  • Worked on a handout for a Classics TAs and fine tuned a ppt presentation. I’ll be teaching the TAs what they need to teach their students for a library assignment I helped create.
  • Started working on pulling together a group to examine mobile options for our library catalogue.
  • Finally did a little work on my OLA presentation.
  • Renewed ALA membership and got an ACRL membership (and threw in LITA for good measure), so I can attend/present at ACRL
  • The list of things not done should also probably be included when talking about Libday6, since it’s rare for one to finish everything. Among those things still on the list (most likely weekend work): more OLITA prep for the OLA Super Conference next week, more OLA prep, quiz prep
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Libday6: Day 4

Today feels slightly unproductive when I consider the extent of my week so far. Here’s how it went:

  • Meeting with my OLA presentation group to discuss some of the finer points of the presentation
  • Set up some student research consultations
  • Met with a prof to talk about possible involvement in a conference I’m helping organize (Canadian Network for Innovation in Education aka CNIE) that will be held on campus this May
  • Office hours in the Classics department, complete with a student drop-in consultation and chatting with faculty
  • Worked on a prezi version of a presentation I’m giving to a Communication Studies and Multimedia class. I’ve given this presentation a number of times so I thought I’d try something new. I’m not convinced I won’t make someone ill with motion sickness…
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Two, two, two days in one!

Yes, I will admit it. I just didn’t have the energy yesterday to post my LibDay6: Day 2, it was, after all, a 12 hour day with 6 hours of teaching. So today, you get two days in one!

Libday6: Day 2

  • Started the day checking email and social networks (from now on, assume this is done at the start of everyday)
  • Attended a liaison meeting where we learned the basics of systematic reviews. They’re big in health sciences and seem to be increasing in popularity recently. We’re even getting requests from social sciences. I’d love to learn more about the differences, if there are any, between health sciences and social sciences systematic reviews. I’d also love to learn why social sciences has started using them. Add that to the research list pile of things to do.
  • During this meeting, having taken my laptop, I had a few IM chats with faculty and students. Note to self: I must remember to turn on my away message more often. I am really excited to see people using my IM widget though. I’m in 14 classes (9 are sections of the same course) in our learning management system and have included a private google IM widget. I’m surprised by the amount of up-take. The just-in-time help I can provide seems to be working well and I hope it continues.
  • Student dropped by my office for a consultation – it was only afterwards that I realized that it was during my office hours. I have only placed this office hours on my liaison contact page and don’t promote it very well. I’m not certain that the student came because of the posted hours, but it is nice to think that students are finding me.
  • The rest of the day was spent teaching. This is the second time I see this class and it’s an interesting session, as I get to go over web searching and evaluation, talk briefly about new media, copyright, and finding creative commons images. These are things that I don’t get to teach very often. On top of it, half of the class is spent creating videos in the new media centre. We’re seeing more options for digital projects on campus and this session introduces them to the space they can use to create them. Some of the sections of this course will have the option to create videos or graphic novels as the major project, so it’s exciting to offer this session to them.

Libday6: Day 3

  • The day consisted primarily of teaching (7.5 hours of it) – the same inquiry class as yesterday.
  • Contacted the Centre for Student Development to make accommodation arrangements for an online quiz that will be offered in a couple of weeks.
  • Teleconference – introduction to a new committee I’m on, the Technical Advisory Group for Scholar’s Portal
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Libday6: Day 1

Working from home means more always gets done. It seems today was no exception.

  • Started the day the same as everyone else: checking email and social networks.
  • I sent in a small piece on QR codes for our library newsletter. As part of the Teaching with Technology committee, we try to have a small piece about new, interesting or useful technology. Previous posts have included web apps like dropbox and TED talks.
  • I updated the first 4 of 9 presentations that I’ll be doing this week for social sciences inquiry. More on that tomorrow
  • Pulled together a short reading list on presentation skills for a prof to offer his students. I hope to teach this to them in the future.
  • As a research day, it wasn’t until afternoon that I actually began my research. I rarely get to take research days but it was nice to have some time to devote to preparing my OLA presentation. I’ll be presenting on virtual embedded librarianship. It’s interesting research (both the virtual aspect and embedded librarianship) and I’ll post more on it after the conference.
  • Helped organize the library portion of a visit of crown ward students. Instead of a creative writing exercise, I’ve suggested bringing them to the digital media centre to create something (a video, slideshow, song…) as they are more likely to use digital media than do creative writing in university. The idea seems to have gone over well, so we’ll see.
  • checked in our local student social network and answered library questions
  • did a little more research/reading and some association work for OLITA – worked on pulling together a report for the AGM and filled in a colleague for a teleconference I filled in for.
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