Friday, November 19, 2010

Google: 20 Things I Learned

Webmonkey contributor Michael Calore reviews on Google's newest book; Beautiful Websites: Google's Book of 20 Things. The tag line, or perhaps virtual book flap, promotes Google's 20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web pronouncing "For things you’ve always wanted to know about the web but were afraid to ask, read on." One of the things I learned today is a snarky message displays when the title is opened in an IE 8 browser sans a Google Chrome Frame plug in.

"This illustrated book was designed for HTML5-compliant browsers and will not work with your current browser. For the best viewing experience, please download a modern browser, or install the Google Chrome Frame plug-in and try launching this site again."

I spent a few minutes browsing through the book (it's rather cool the page actually appears to be moving in the browser) and was particularly interested in the chapters on browsers and privacy, identifying malicious URLs, and cloud computing. Written in a friendly, narrative format, this book is worth sharing. Luckily, there are convenient share options embedded into the book.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Two Week reader wrap-up

I delayed last weeks wrap-up to blog about the ALAO conference (late) and still have two posts remaining in my folder. So, this is a two-week reader collection that includes technology links, tips for blogging from MS Office 2010, and collaboration with Prezi . Take a few minutes to read the comments accompanying Steven Bell's Library Journal column, when I added to this post link there were very good discussions detailing the necessity of basic steps in elementary and high school before teaching research strategies in higher education.

* In a very unblog-like fashion, the newest items are posted last ...

  • OhioLINK What's New
    A recent addendum to the previous post / announcement (9/30) regarding the new OhioLINK executive director (10/25).

  • Research with Training Wheels From the Bell Tower
    "As much as we academic librarians sometimes whine about our problems (which I am guilty of here), our K-12 counterparts demonstrate a tremendous enthusiasm for their work. This summit was a no-whining zone. More than that, our K-12 counterparts are thinking hard about the future of reading. As I heard more than a few times at the Summit, it's not about the future of the book—it's about the future of reading. We may not know what the container will be, but we do know that student academic success is strongly tied to reading and comprehension—and the future of reading according to the experts, is digital." -- Steven Bell, Library Journal, 10/28/10

  • More than a third of Higher Education Faculty are on Twitter
    "Twitter use by Higher Education Faculty is more extensive than you might expect, and it’s on the rise. This last week I came across this report from Magna Publications, published last month, which discusses their second annual survey of Twitter usage among college faculty. The survey was conducted over the summer and had 1,372 respondents." -- K Walsh, Emerging EdTech, 10/31/10

  • It’s Time to Get to Work. Arm Yourself with Knowledge
    "Regardless of your position within an organization, if you want to see change you need to institute change. Small steps often lead to big change. You have the ability to encourage others to have the confidence and courage to follow. The one thing that I find helps is arming myself with knowledge. You don’t know what you don’t know, right? One of the things I turn to broaden my knowledge are books. It’s amazing what you can learn at such a minimal cost, if you just put the time and effort into it." -- Beth Harte, Social Media Today, 11/1/10

  • Same Campus + Real Time = Prezi Meeting
    "Nothing beats opening your email to find a whole new way of collaborating. Whether your students are engaged in Project or Challenge-Based Learning, or you want to collaborate locally or globally, Prezi Meeting just made learning better. For web-based presentations, Prezi Meeting reinvented desktop sharing." -- RJ Stangherlin, DEN Blog Network, 11/4/10

  • How to Publish Blog Posts from Microsoft Word 2010
    "Every blogger out there looks for easy ways to publish blogs which don’t take up much time; hence the use of many specifically designed blog writing and publishing platforms is commonplace. However, a word processing application such as Microsoft Office 2010 can also be used an effective blog writing app with just a few simple steps." -- Hammad, Lost in Technology, 11/4/10

  • Magazine Lifts Blogger's Article, Tells Her to Be Grateful for the Edit
    "But this story might be a new low. According to blogger and medieval recipe enthusiast Monica Gaudio, a print magazine stole her article, published it in their magazine, and, when Gaudio complained, the magazine told her she should be grateful for the exposure and they deserved a "thanks" editing it it for her." -- Sarah Jacobsson Purewal, PCWorld, 11/5/10

  • The Rise of the 'Edupunk'
    "NEW YORK -- The “Edupunks” will inherit the Earth … or at least some attention. Those in higher education who continue hand-wringing over the relative merits of online learning and other technology-driven platforms will soon find themselves left in the dust of an up-and-coming generation of students who are seeking knowledge outside academe. Such was an emerging consensus view here Monday, as college leaders gathered for the TIAA-CREF Institute's 2010 Higher Education Leadership Conference." -- Jack Stripling, Insider Higher Ed News, 11/5/10

  • Prezi Paths: Linear Storytelling in an Infinite Landscape
    "One of the most elusive concepts I find in most Prezi presentations is a lack of navigational structure – wildly zooming around a presentation. While this may make sense to the presenter, it is a completely disorienting experience for the audience and can certainly induce motion sickness."-- Andrew Davis, TippingPoint Labs, 11/9/10

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

ALAO 2010: Choose to Read Ohio

Choose To Read Ohio: Read Together, Read Ohio, Read for Life
Janet Ingraham Dwyer, State Library of Ohio
Amy Korpieski, Clark State Community College
Julie McDaniel, Urbana University
Ann M. Raney, University of Dayton

Session presenters highlighted their Choose To Read Ohio programs for attendees; each project was a recipient of an Ohio IMLS LSTA Special Grant project.

"Choose to Read Ohio (CTRO) spotlights Ohio authors and promotes reading across Ohio.The State Library of Ohio and the Ohioana Library Association encourage Ohioans of all ages to read and enjoy books together.”
Clark State Community College
The Death of Jayson Porter , by Jaime Adoff

“Clark State Community College (CSCC) is partnering with Project Jericho (an arts outreach initiative) and the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center. Jaime Adoff will work with teens on a poetry slam and work with them on their original poetry. All participants will receive a bound volume of their individual poetry. Adoff will also hold a public reading for CSCC English students who have read the book. Teens in detention and CSCC students will have penpal discussions about the novel.”

Read the Project Jericho Poetry Slam chapbook!

University of Dayton Curriculum Materials Center (CMC)Trouble Don’t Last, by Shelley Pearsall

“As a part of the teacher preparation program, future teachers will work with three urban schools on the project. Students will read the title independently or as a read aloud and discuss the title in small groups as well as complete activities from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s lesson plans. The program will conclude with a visit by Shelley Pearsall and a tour of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.”

Urbana UniversityTrouble Don’t Last, by Shelley Pearsall
Beyond the River, by Anne Hagedorn

“Six public events will be held to promote community discussions and two field trips to three museums will be offered. Education majors will ready the book and create lesson plans to support teaching the book. These will then be used in partner classrooms at local schools. Parents will be encouraged to read the book with their children and participate in the public events. Associated activities will include presentations on the Underground Railroad in Champaign County, photography of Underground Railroad sites and the Champaign County Quilt/Barn Tour. Field trips to the Piatt Castles, Rankin House, and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will be offered.”

Additional information and lesson plans created by Urbana University Education students involved in the project are available.

*This was an ALAO-CMCIG sponsored session.

ALAO 2010: Research Grant Application

ALAO's Research and Publication Committee included information for the 2011 ALAO Research Grant Application process in every program packet.

"The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) seeks to promote research, and each year the ALAO Executive Board may award up to $500.00 to support and encourage research projects proposed by ALAO members. Both ongoing and new research projects are considered. Grants are intended to help in funding such incremental research costs as the organization of data, the hiring of interviewers or other assistants, charges for computer time, and modest travel costs associated with research. Grants may not be used for purchase of equipment. Grants are limited to investigations related to issues in libraries, librarianship, and information science and technology.

Include the following in your application:

  • Completed ALAO Research Grant Application Form.

  • A written proposal of no more than two pages, single-spaced. Include the objectives of the research, a brief discussion of previous work on the topic, the methodology that will be used, plans for evaluation, the potential importance of the research results, and an estimate of the amount of time to be spent at each stage of the project. Avoid the use of acronyms and jargon without appropriate reference to full names and definitions. Please be clear and complete with your proposal. The Committee evaluates each application as is and will not ask for further clarifications.

  • A current vita from the named applicant(s).

  • A budget sheet. Briefly list the projected expenses for the project. Consider all direct and indirect costs, such as staff time, printing and postage, supplies, and services required to complete the work. Note any other anticipated sources of support for the project and include supporting evidence (i.e., a letter from your institution). Clearly identify which expenditures will be met by ALAO Research Grant funds.

Email completed applications to Mark Eddy, mark.eddy at, Chair of the Research & Publications Committee as an email attachment.

Visit the ALAO Research and Publication Committee web site for additional information including a list of past winners.

ALAO 2010: Presidents Program

Stephen Abram was this year's keynote speaker for the President's Program. His presentation Building the New Academic Library, is embedded above and (as promised) are available on SlideShare. Questions posed to the audience during the program:
  1. Is this the end of publishing as we know it?
  2. Is this the end of libraries as we know them?
  3. Where is all this change taking us?
  4. Do people still value the book?
  5. What's next?
  6. What is the role for librarians in our info-future?
I found many points to agree and disagree with as his talk progressed. For instance, a new AU library web site is anticipated next spring; Abram provided snapshot results from a survey conducted revealing "only 29% of users found databases via the library web site,", "72% found trusted our (library) content more than what they found on Google," yet "81% still use Google" first suggests the decision to present our databases in a quick search environment could be a good one (slide 20). This personal conclusion, open to wide interpretation by all concerned with the results of said redesign, will be put to the test when the site is live. Much relies on how the site is presented and how we - library faculty and staff - are willing to handle the change internally. As Abram mentioned, our relationship with the user, online and in person, will need to be consistently re-examined.

Discussion relating to the end of the book as we know it was not (and is not) a point of agreement. Maybe in this instance the phrase 'as we know it' should be given more thought. Books are evolving to a more technology based format and have been for some time. In the last ten year's I've purchased books on cassette, books on CD, books with accompanying cassettes, CD's and DVD's. Electronic books have allowed texts to be included within online instruction, I'm a big an of Safari Tech books, audio of books may be downloaded and circulated, and we are quickly moving toward sharing between e-book users. However, as the internet is still in its infancy (slide 13), in many ways so is the concept and delivery of electronic books.

Take a few minutes to peruse Stephen Abrams presentation, there is a great deal of food - and books - for thought.

Monday, November 08, 2010

ALAO 2010: Venue Overview

The 36th Annual ALAO Conference, Academic Libraries: Now and Tomorrow was held October 29, 2010. This year’s location was the Columbus Crowne Plaza North conveniently located (in my opinion) near I-71 and I-270; interestingly enough it was the same exit from I-71 I take to go to our AU Columbus Center. Free parking was available and even arriving later than expected I was able to find something quickly.

I’ve been on previous ALAO program committee’s and tend to look at the conference hotel differently than some attendees; that said, generally speaking, I liked the venue. Registration was held in what appeared to be the coat check-in area. Even though I walked past it twice, it was advantageous not to trip over the tables or other assorted registration necessities. Plus this provided committee and staff members a place to call home during the conference (it’s important). The ballroom, used for breakfast, the ALAO business meeting and key note address, lunch, and poster sessions worked well. I was able to see the screens, hear the people talking, and plenty of room was available for seating. There appeared to be enough room for poster presenters and their audience and some presenters kept their posters available for those perusing the area after the designated poster time. The ballroom remained open during the afternoon providing an area for informal meetings if desired.

A smattering of attendees used their laptops in the ballroom; mine never left its case, so I am unsure of the quality of wireless offered. After attending Computers In Libraries, where areas are specifically set up for users (tables and power access), balancing my computer on my lap with the conference program and other freebies was not a priority. I took notes in the more traditional manner and am cobbling them together for this series of posts. Of course, had a used my netbook these posts would have been published in a more timely manner.

One of the most difficult tasks performed by the conference planning committee is deciding what session to put in what room; one room was large (Buckeye room, fabulous), several rooms were medium in size (two small rooms together), and other rooms were small. It is an art, not a science, to place the right session in the right room and there is no guarantee what will be the hot topic at any given time. As a result, there were a couple of overcrowded rooms and several emptier options for each session. It can’t be helped. However, hallway traffic outside of the rooms was particularly abysmal as we waited in line to traverse in and out of break-out rooms.

Breakfast had a nice assortment of goodies, lunch was particularly tasty with cheesecake for dessert, and the afternoon snack had something for everyone. All in all things ran very smoothly and the venue, with a lot of help from the program committee, provided a nice attendee experience.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Bloglines resurrected

It appears Bloglines has been saved from oblivion. After moving my feeds to Google Reader (complaining the entire time) and adjusting to the new service, an email from Bloglines/ team announced the service has been purchased by MerchantCircle. The email read in part:

"We have some exciting news to share about the Bloglines service! As you may have heard, ( has entered into an agreement with MerchantCircle ( who has agreed to keep Bloglines up and running. Stay tuned over the coming months as MerchantCircle works to improve the Bloglines service by creating a richer and more local user experience." -- Bloglines /

This creates a feeder quandary; do I continue with Google Reader, a service I am not thrilled with using, or return to my vacated Bloglines account? Since it appears my account will remain active, I may just wait and see what they have to offer. In the mean time, here is more information about the agreement:
As detailed in the final link, TechCrunch reported this exclusively yesterday afternoon (my TechCrunch feed must have faltered). They provided a few more details:

"For all you loyal Bloglines users (the site has 2.7 million users), don’t fret. MerchantCircle will be keeping the former standalone service in place for non-MerchantCircle users, at the RSS platform’s present URL and Smith assures the the transition will be seamless for previous users (i.e. same log-ins and UI). One notable feature that will be missing is the Clippings feature, and users won’t be able to merge their saved clippings to the new platform. MerchantCircle will also offer Bloglines users customized local RSS feeds that users can opt into for hyper local news and deals. Smith adds that Bloglines has been tweaked slightly for a “richer, faster experience.”" -- TechCrunch, 11/4/10, Leena Rao