Posts Tagged ‘library’

Facebook a distraction from studies?


Jeff Young from the Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog recounted a new study from Ohio State in which the performance of students was assessed using their use of Facebook as a determining factor.  There are many raised eyebrows surrounding this topic, but the data so far is inconclusive and not accurate enough to draw true correlations between use and performance.  Frankly, I would wager that there are more factors than just Facebook for poor performance.  What if one student didn’t use Facebook but constantly texted their friends in class, played Warcraft until 3a.m. and then spent most of the other times watching old Kung Fu movies without cracking a book?  I would wager that performance would rate rather low.  Then again what if there was another student which had a similar behavior pattern but used Facebook to organize get togethers with their friends, shared assignments online, and contacted their librarian for help via Facebook.  They may still perform poorly, but it wasn’t their use of Facebook that brought them down. 

I would be curious to run a study in which the students are assigned a level of social networking proficiency.  From that we could try to rate whether their networking seemed to add or detract from a normalized pattern of studious behavior.


Knowing who you are

05/08/2008 1 comment

While searching for information about new ways to log virtual reference chat sessions, I stumbled upon a new concept in user to service interactions. APML or Attention Profiling Markup Language, is a Web 2.0 driven standard meant to allow you as the user to “inform” the system you wish to use, of the types of things you would be interested in. (In theory.)

What if a library catalog supported this type of language? Imagine uploading your “profile” into the catalog search and being presented with related topics and collections of resources that you may find interesting. Yes this may rely more on the machine and preordained associations, but doesn’t the APML feel a bit like LCSH.  Maybe that is a jump, but as libraries search for ways to make their services adapt to the user while still maintaining some structure; is there a way for us to explore this new concept?

Kindle-ing Interests

book page

Recently the library I am associated with obtained several Kindle devices. As gifts they were meant to stimulate our interest in digital book devices and perhaps inquire as to the usefulness for our library. Being the curious techno-geek that I am, I decided to examine Amazon‘s new tool and make my personal thoughts known. (It should be noted that my opinions are not associated with my University but instead are my personal statements regarding my own experiences.)

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