Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Care and Feeding of Library Student Assistants, Greg Martin

This is the last post in a short series of posts summarizing information from the CMCIG workshop. For additional comments from workshop attendees, visit the CMCIG Blog.

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The workshop concluded with a session by Greg Martin, CMCIG chair and Curriculum Materials Center Librarian at Cedarville University and author of Cedarville's Curriculum Materials Center blog.. Greg's presentation, "The Care and Feeding of Library Student Assistants," detailed the multifaceted programs in place at Cedarville University including information on their awards plan, fall cookout, "goody" bags, and a spring library appreciation banquet. I was a bit awestruck by the sheer number of programs funded by the library, but was able to garner basic ideas for things to incorporate into my IRC.

Prior to the workshop, Greg requested attendees bring their own training manuals and handbooks to share with the group. During the open discussion time following the presentation, a variety of great ideas and questions were fielded by and for the good of the group. This was a great opportunity to not only see how other librarians hire and train student assistants, but also how they field problems, concerns, and triumphs running their CMCs.

Children's and Young Adult Literature: The Favorites, Old & New!, Elaine Fultz

Elaine Fultz, IMC Director at Weller Elementary School, Centerville City Schools, presented an afternoon session on juvenile and young adult literature. Featuring a wide variety of juvenile selections, Adventures of Captain Underpants, Junie B. Jones, and The Higher Power of Lucky, Elaine focused on a topic academic librarians do not often have opportunity to explore; books elementary and middle school students are currently interested in reading and actively checking out of school libraries.

Captain Underpants or The Tale of Despereaux
The Hobbit or Eragon
Flotsam or A Million Dots

Which of these would, or should, belong in school libraries being taught by teachers (read-aloud activities) and librarians? The resounding answer, hard to hear by many, is both. Elaine reminded us that “kids will read more when they find something fun!” Once hooked on reading, the sky is the limit. This was further illustrated with handouts from QuizList Interactive detailed the 2007 Top Ten Books Checked Out at both the elementary and secondary level.

Elementary #1:
Junie B. Jones, First Grader: Boss of Lunch

Secondary # 1:

Elementary #2 (12 way tie that included):
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, A Year Down Yonder, and Matilda

Secondary #2:
A Child Called “It”

The session would not have been complete without a short discussion regarding Newbery winner, The Higher Power of Lucky. Some students were reading it because their parents had heard the controversy and some were reading it because, controversy aside, they were enjoying the book. I left with a renewed understanding of the importance an eclectic and well-rounded collection with books for everyone, classics, popular culture, poetry, and graphic novels that supports library mission and vision, adheres to collection development policy as well as information literacy, and has something children want to read.

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McGuffey Museum

A tour of the William Holmes McGuffey Museum with curator Steve Gordon and interim coordinator of museum education Helen Sheumaker was a timely follow up activity to the special collections presentation. An Ohio National Historical landmark, the museum is the home where McGuffey wrote the McGuffey Readers in 1836.

The museums mission statement:

"The Mission of William Holmes McGuffey Museum is to collect, preserve, interpret and exhibit materials relating to the life of William Holmes McGuffey, the McGuffey eclectic Reader series, the history of Miami University, and 19th century domestic life and architecture of southwest Ohio." (William Holmes McGuffey Museum, Flyer, 3/2004)

There are many historical treasures in the McGuffey museum including portraits of Harriet and William Holmes McGuffey, a Miami University chapel stained glass window from the 1860s, and McGuffey's intriguing octagon table (it works similar to a lazy Susan, allowing McGuffey to move the table instead of moving himself). More information about the McGuffey Museum is available on their website.

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Treasures of Children's Literature at Miami University, Janet Stuckey

In one of the more vibrant and enthusiastic presentations, Janet Stuckey, Head of Special Collections and Archives at Miami University spoke about the children's literature treasures that are a part of King Library's special collections. The highlight of Janet's presentation was the hands-on opportunity to view items from the Edgar W. & Faith King Collection of Juvenile Literature. Janet provided valuable examples of historical children's literature from the collection for viewing; Horn Books, Primers, McGuffey readers, and juvenile wartime propaganda were among the offerings.

"Discover the King Collection of over 10,000 children's books and magazines printed from the seventeenth century thorugh the early 1900s, providing insight into the activities of children for about 300 years."

"The Walter Havighurst Special Collections houses one of the most extensive collections of the McGuffey Eclectic Readers. These works mirror the changes in the educational process in 19th Century America. These resources are suported by an additional 5,00 schoolbooks published in numerous subject areas from the late 1790s up to the early 1900s." (The Walter Havighurst Special Collections, Flyer, 5/1/07)

After listening to this presentation, it is no wonder one of the most popular stops for education and English literature students is the special collections. As Janet said, they have "lots of cool old stuff!"

For more information on King Libraries Special Collections, visit their website.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Blog header images

I have been preparing screen shots for my blog-themed poster presentation at ALA and pondering a way to add the IRC logo to the IRC Blog. While I have changed the blog colors to match the IRC web page color palette, the logo would provide a nice visual element currently missing. I knew it was an achievable goal, I did it here. But to insert the Library Cloud logo it was necessary to mess (a technical term) with the blog html and then find a way to access the picture. Doable, but cumbersome, and not suffice for my current needs; I wanted to keep the deep purple background as a frame for the IRC logo by inserting it into the existing page element as opposed to replacing it as I did here. I reasoned that with the new "drop and drag" options accompanying updated Blogger templates there had to be a better way. There was!

I discovered a new option, at least a new to me option, in Configure Header. Choosing to change an existing header, users are able to add images by either uploading from a computer or linking to an existing online image. Once the image is added placement options - behind title and description - and - instead of title and description -are available to personalize the selection.

I needed to adjust the size of my logo/image, it was bigger than the allotted space and bled out over the background, but was able to add the IRC logo to the blog header quickly and without any problems. I chose the instead of title and description option, but left the blog title showing. Now the blog title is not on the blog, but does remain on my dashboard.

With some irony, a new Blogger Buzz feed was present in my Bloglines account this morning. It was a post from Pete at Blogger Buzz: Learn How to Add an Image to Your Blogs Header.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Weeding and Cooperative Collection Development, Sara Bushong

This is the first post in a short series of posts summarizing information from the CMCIG workshop. For additional comments from workshop attendees, visit the CMCIG Blog.

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The CMCIG workshop, Dynamic CMC's: Tools to Improve Service, was held Friday, May 18, 2007, at Miami University's King Library. The first session presenter was Sara Bushong, Head Librarian of the Curriculum Resource Center at Bowling Green State University's Jerome Library. Sara's presentation, "Weeding and Cooperative Collection Development," included discussions on weeding that have been present on the EBSS list serv in the last month, detailed the weeding project currently in progress at BGSU, and provided information regarding OhioLINK and cooperative collection development.

Issues Facing CMC's include collection development and the ever present questions of "Is it old?" or "Is it historical?" CMC directors must determine how long to keep textbooks, activity books, and materials kits and juggle these issues with our individual collection development missions and policies. Sara detailed several points made on the EBSS list regarding different weeding system in place. One of the most prevalent methods, the
CREW guidelines revised and updated by Belinda Boon, utilizes a six point guideline following the acronym MUSTIE (Misleading, Ugly, Superseded, Trivial, Irrelevant, Elsewhere attainable).

BGSU's collection analysis and weeding project was introduced to workshop attendees, as well as the criteria form used for the CRC collection. The form identified three key factors; circulation trends (last two circulation dates), depository trends (number of copies), and ownership by OhioLINK (public and academic) libraries. Further considerations for withdrawal from the CRC collection or consignment to the BGSU depository with final decisions regarding withdrawal of titles were made by the CRC staff. :
  • If (title) is already in depository: Withdraw
  • If OhioLINK has lots of circulating copies (+5): Withdraw
  • If OhioLINK has few copies (3 - 5 depending on title): BGSU Depository
  • If there are more than 2 copies in another depository: Withdraw
  • If there are only single copies in two other depositories: BGSU Depository
  • If copy is in bad condition and not a significant title: Withdraw

The analysis form criteria was applied to children and young adult literature, curriculum textbooks (additional terms), activity books, and reference books. Sara reported that at this time, BGSU has withdrawn almost 4,000 items thus helping to "refine our collecting focus, make decisions for the future, and relieve space needs and physical weight issues."

I found this session particularly interesting as one week prior to the workshop I fielded inquiries from the library director regarding weeding the AU juvenile collection (space is a continuous issue as is the relevance of our collection). A large collection does not guarantee a comprehesive and useful collection, it is just large. We do own dated non-fiction titles that should be removed and replaced with newer titles having correct information. An important distinction to make, and one that was discussed at length during the workshop, is that weeding processes are not "one size fits all." Every library and/or curriculum materials center librarian has to use the system most benefitting individual mission and collection development statements. I have instigated a quick discussion concerning a potential weeding project (juvenile non-fiction)with one of the college of education professors. It will be beneficial to me having a representative from the college using the juvenile collection share in the decision making process.

For more information on this presentation, contact Sara Bushong, Bowling Green State University.

Updated 5/23/07

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Learning something new

One of the loosely termed technology blogs I have in my Bloglines account is the Official Google Blog. While more often than not I simply breeze through the entries, on some occasions I find widgets and other interesting blog enhancing ideas I want to try; such as this particular entry. Last Thursday (5/17) an entry titled Oh, the places you'll go ... , detailed using Picasa web albums to make flash slide shows.

It was a pretty easy process, especially since unbeknownst to me I already had a Picasa account set up (its Google related, so all of the photos and clip art from this blog are archived). I uploaded the photos, arranged them in the order I wanted, and added captions. Once I was finished with the process it was a simple matter of selecting "embed slideshow" and making final selections of picture size (I chose large), slide show speed (it's two minutes), and if I wanted the captions to be visible (I did). The whole process took less than 15 minutes; it took me longer to decide what photos to include. I copied the code and placed it here:

Lest I be guilty of self plaigarism, I need to pause here and note that this slide show was originally posted on the CMCIG blog for viewing - CMCIG Workshop: Slide Show. I will be posting particulars concerning the workshop in the next few days. As with previous CMCIG workshops, it was a veritable fount of useful information.

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Stanford Fair Use Project

Walt Crawford posted a great copyright and fair use link on his Walt at Random blog: Fair(y)Use: Brilliant. It links to a Documentary Film Program at Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society that uses Disney Film clips to explain Fair Use, or Fair(y) Use.

If you haven't seen the film,
click here.

See also: Stanford Law School’s Fair Use Project Helps Launch Breakthrough Initiative For Documentary Filmmakers, February 27, 2007.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

DLIG Workshop

The DLIG, ALAO's Distance Learning Interest Group, Spring Workshop "Distance Learning and Libraries: Generational Techniques and Emerging Technologies" is scheduled for Friday, June 15, 2007, from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm at the Cedar Point Center, BGSU-Firelands Campus.

Workshop Speakers:
  • Georgene Johson, Director of Library Services at Washington State Community College
    What a Difference a Generation Makes: How to maximize performance and job satisfaction for Veterans, Boomers, Gen Xers, and Nexters.
  • Brian Gray, Engineering, Mathematics and Statistics Librarian, Case Western Reserve University
    Second Life is a 3-D virtual world that is built by the participants rather than a handful of paid programmers. Organizations have tapped this virtual environment to offer classes, conduct research, collaborate on projects, and offer an alternative to traveling to traditional meetings or conferences.
  • Dr. Deanna Romano, Assistant Professor, Educational Technology, Ashland University
    WebConferencing enables instructors to deliver that personal touch of sharing the relationship between concepts and practice with voice, video and personalities. This presentation will discuss the use of WebConferencing and the various tools available.

For more information, visit the DLIG Workshop page.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Last call: CMCIG workshop

This Friday, May 11th, is the registration deadline for the Curriculum Materials Center Interest Group workshop scheduled for Friday, May 18, 2007 at King Library, Miami University. Our workshop theme, Dynamic CMC's: Tools to Improve Service, will include the following program highlights:
  • Sara Bushong, Bowling Green State University
    Weeding and Cooperative Collection Development
  • Janet Stuckey, Miami University
    Treasures of Children's Literature at Miami University
  • Elaine Fultz, Centerville City Schools
    Children's and Young Adult Literature

We will also be touring the William Holmes McGuffey Museum and Miami University's Instructional Materials Center (IMC). Breakfast and lunch are included in the price of the workshop.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

I am an "Omnivore"

Catching up on my bloglines account this afternoon I found yet another interesting post from Walt at Random; Lackluster veteran: Bias, much? concerning a Pew Internet report that includes a quiz that promises to help me determine what kind of information technology user I am. Since I am a technology sucker for this type of online quiz, I recently took a blogthings quiz and found out I am a chocolate cake, I did answer the questions honestly. Of course, since I could continue to take the quiz as often as I wanted, making it easy to manipulate the results, it does give one pause.

The quiz in question is called an
Internet Typology Quiz and was introduced accordingly:

"Do you cringe when your cell phone rings? Do you suffer from withdrawal when you can't check your Blackberry? Do you rush to post your vacation video to your Web site? The questions below allow you to place yourself in one of the categories in the Pew Internet Project's Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users. To identify the typology group to which you belong, please answer the questions below. When you press the 'Calculate MyResults' button, a new page will tell you in which group you fit, along with a description of the general characteristics of that group." (Pew/Internet, 5/7/07)

My quiz results suggest I am most closely related to an "Omnivore." That's all well and good, but since the basic "who are they" umbrella definition of the Omnivore category suggests I am young (uh-huh), ethnically diverse (no), male (no again), and should have a median age of 28 (smiles only), I beg to differ. I do find it interesting that 42% of people in this category are students. Working with students in the IRC on a daily basis I spend a lot of time with their technology questions as well. To be fair, the results came back with a disclaimer that while I closely resemble an Omnivore, "this does not mean that you (I) necessarily fit every group characteristic." While I do have a digital camera and have watched TV online, it did not take into account my intense dislike of cell phones (but I do have and use one).

I guess it could be said in true Omnivore fashion I took the quiz, posted the results here, blogged about it for all asunder, and provided links for anyone else who may be interested.

But I still don't particularly like cell phones.

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