Posts Tagged ‘libraries’

You Tube goes edu

03/30/2009 1 comment


As reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education, You Tube has recently created a channel for colleges and universities.    They are only accepting one channel from each institution, but this is a great way to focus your library videos onto the You Tube network.  Now when your users look for your library’s information literacy video, they won’t have to spend hours browsing through unrelated videos.  There are over 100 institutions signed up now, so don’t wait and start the process to get your videos into the You Tube Edu stream.


Gaming in Libraries gets press, sort of


Image used from Flickr.  CC ownership by j.c. westbrook.

Image used from Flickr. CC ownership by j.c. westbrook.

From a recent post on Game Couch, a Nebraska news team forgot to actually investigate their reporting and claimed that the public libraries in their towns were buying video gaming equipment and using them on taxpayer supported time. 

The reality was that the outreach program involving video games has been around for some time and is supported by those approving the library funding.

I would call them “gotcha” media, but it doesn’t work if the media reporter looks like the fool.

I believe that this may be their next teaser: 

Tomorrow on Action News, the libraries are using tax payer dollars to buy books on Socialism and then encouraging your kids to take them and read them for free. We’ll show you the reactions by Joe 6-pack right after our ongoing coverage of several, local, untamed bears defecating in a wooded area…

Magazines cutting online versions?

In a very strange turn of the page (pun intended), several large magazine publishers have decided to cut their online versions in favor of their traditional print version.  This may seem quite contrary to many of the trends we have been seeing in libraries, but the reality is that many of the publishers are too focused on maintaining their “safe” revenue.  One of the most interesting phrases was, “Revenue first, future later.”  The sad part is that this statement rings true in far too many of our failing industries.  Do I need to remind anyone of the crisis facing the auto industry?

So what about libraries?  If this trend spreads in the publishing world, will we find ourselves scrambling to keep hold of our online versions of journals?  What happens if many of our database companies begin to go “belly up” or hike the prices even higher?  I would be a sad day to see our users become disillusioned with libraries because they feel we are not doing enough to move into the 21st century. 

The truly sad part of this report came when realizing that the featured title cutting online versions was Fortune.  How can a magazine devoted to financial reporting fail to see the potential gains in online superiority?  Sad news indeed.

Google Magazine Search

12/10/2008 1 comment

It was reported today that Google will now include magazine contents in its search index. From an AP release:

 “As part of its quest to corral more content published on paper, Google Inc. has made digital copies of more than 1 million articles from magazines that hit the newsstands decades ago.”

So what does this mean for us? I would wager that we should be pressing for more integration of catalog searching via both institutional holdings but also Google indexing. Imagine if large portions of commonly held titles were available through Google. Small libraries could pay less in back log files and being to invest in new titles that they had to put on hold for that archival run of magazine articles.

Lively from Google

Google has unveiled a new offering entitled Lively.  This application allows users to chat in a virtual world, eerily similar to Second Life.  Though it is still in early development, one can see the appeal of something fairly new to the chat world.  Having Google behind this product may attract users addicted to all things Google.

At this point the ability to create items, as in Second Life, hasn’t been implemented.  But there is some speculation that their other tool Sketchup, might be used to facilitate such an endeavor.  At this point you can stream your photos and videos to those joining you in a room.  I haven’t tried the software yet so I won’t speculate on what may be possible, but will say that for all you might want to do in such a room the options seem fairly adequate.

One aspect that I find interesting is the ability to “embed” your room onto your website or blog.  It would be fun to see a library create a virtual reference desk room and allow users to chat away.  This may be more interesting for public libraries, but it never hurts to experiment with new concepts such as this.

Social Responsibility Education

A short article by Paula Wasley in the Chronicle of Higher Education reminded me of something I had discussed with colleagues awhile ago. Paula was reporting on a survey done by the Association of American College and Universities, titled the Personal and Social Responsibility Institutional Inventory. The main points that were taken away focused on student and faculty views on how well their campuses were providing personal and social responsibility. This topic spans ethical practices, personal representation, and social activities.

Though the figures weren’t completely shocking, at least to me, the question lies as to who would be best suited for teaching such lessons? Granted, this question wouldn’t be appropriate for campuses who were willing to hire a specialist for such curricula, but smaller campuses may begin looking for an advocate.

To me there seems to be a connected path between some of the lessons we are teaching through Information Literacy. When we talk about authoritative sources and avoiding plagiarism, aren’t we instilling some small part of ethical behavior in the student?

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How far is too far?

muddy tire

With the recent clamor over the “mud flap” girl from the Wyoming Libraries, I began to muse over just how far is too far in library marketing?

The mud flap girl, to me, was an interesting use of an American cultural icon designed to highlight an auto repair database. The library took a chance in customizing a sexist symbol of a woman into something that would grab your attention and probably even make you chuckle. This sort of marketing is smart but can often be a double edged sword, as the original connotations of the edited symbol may overshadow the intent of the message. Do I think they should be ashamed to call themselves librarians for this concept? No.
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